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. With whom does Nicholas Stavrogin leave from his conversation with his mother?

2. What plan does Mrs. Stavrogin make for Verhovensky?

3. What does Stepan think about marriage?

4. How are Mrs. Stavrogin's views changing as time goes on?

5. Who is Shatov?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Mrs. Stavrogin's response to Stepan Verkhovensky's letter to Peter about Dasha?

2. What does Peter tell us about why Nicholas Stavrogin treated Miss Lebyatkin the way he did?

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

4. Where does Stepan go after he leaves Mrs. Stavrogin's house?

5. Where was Shatov's wife, Mary, before she returned to him, and what condition is she in when she returns?

6. How does Stavrogin try to avoid the duel with Gaganov?

7. What does Peter ask his father after he (Peter) has recounted the story of Stavrogin and Miss Lebyatkin?

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

9. What is Verkhovensky's status in Russian society?

10. What injuries are inflicted during the duel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How is authority portrayed in The Possessed? What kinds of authority are there, and what are the limits of their power? Are any new roles with new authorities brought into being through the action of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Is The Possessed a Christian novel? What kind of Christianity does it align with? Old Testament or New Testament? In what ways does the novel seem atheistic, or existential?

Essay Topic 3

Is there a consistent morality in The Possessed? Do violent people always pay a price for their acts of violence? Are criminals and scoundrels always caught and punished, or made to suffer somehow? Is innocent suffering redeemed?

(see the answer keys)

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