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. Why has Gaganov been insulting Stavrogin?

2. What are Mrs. Lembke's social aspirations?

3. What has Peter Verkhovensky been doing in the week since the confrontations at Mrs. Stavrogin's house?

4. What condition does Mrs. Lembke impose on people who want to come to her party?

5. What are Verkhovensky's political views?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Karmazinov think about Russia?

4. How does Stepan Verkhovensky react to having his house raided?

5. What injuries are inflicted during the duel?

6. What does Stavrogin tell Dasha after the duel?

7. How does Stepan Verhovensky feel about Verkhovensky's marriage to Dasha?

8. What business does Peter conduct with Kirilov in the raining cold of the night?

9. What do we know about the poem, A Noble Character?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the role of the crowd in The Possessed? How do the gathered factory workers or the guests at the fête behave like one character with a unified will or behavior of their own? How does Dostoevsky describe the crowds? What power do they have? What weaknesses?

Essay Topic 2

How are women depicted in The Possessed? Are they mere symbols of sexual attributes like desirability and innocence and seduction, or are they individuals with complex feelings and thoughts? How are they distinguished from the male characters, or are they treated as similarly-independent, self-reliant souls?

Essay Topic 3

What kinds of violence are depicted in The Possessed? Are there different rules and expectations for each kind of violence? Are some kinds of violence more effective in resolving problems than others? Is violence ever a useful tool in The Possessed, or is it always merely destructive?

(see the answer keys)

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