The Possessed Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Whom does Mrs. Stavrogin invite into the conversation that starts Chapter 5?

2. What was Captain Lebyatkin's relationship with Nicholas Stavrogin in Moscow?

3. What is Stepan's impression of the confrontation that took place at Mrs. Stavrogin's house?

4. What venture does Lisa approach Shatov for help with?

5. What is Julia Lembke's hope for the children?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Stavrogin tell Dasha after the duel?

2. Who is responsible for killing Mary and Captain Lebyatkin?

3. Describe the events that take place on stage at the fête.

4. Who dies as a result of Shatov's murder? Who is arrested?

5. What do Erkel and Peter tell Shatov when they meet with him?

6. What leads up to Nicholas' confession that he is married to Mary?

7. What has Shatov's state of mind been like since the confrontation, during which he struck Stavrogin?

8. What is Julia Lembke's relationship with the youth of her town?

9. What story does Stepan, in his fever, think is representative of contemporary Russia?

10. What does Peter tell us about Nicholas Stavrogin's relationship with Miss Lebyatkin?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Peter Verkhovensky exploits the blindness, weakness and gullibility of many characters as he works his wiles. Does the action of the book change any of those characters so that they are immune from Peter's machinations? Asked another way--is The Possessed a moral book that teaches a lesson, or a cynical book that teaches that there are no lessons, only different actors with different motivations?

Essay Topic 2

What is the genre of The Possessed? Is it a realistic novel of Russian life, or is it something else? A philosophical melodrama? A political thriller? An allegory of radicalism?

Essay Topic 3

Peter Verkhovensky spends much of the book agitating for an uprising, but the violence results in the deaths of many of the main characters and the arrest of many of Peter's co-conspirators. Is the action of the book a success insofar as it stirred up trouble in the society of the town? Or is it a failure insofar as it did not accomplish a complete reinvention of Russian society?

(see the answer keys)

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