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

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

3. What problem might Stavrogin have with his plan?

4. Whom does Nicholas visit in Part II, Chapter 2?

5. How many shots does each duelist get to take?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to Lisa after she hears about Stavrogin's role in Mary and the Captain's murder?

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

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

4. What is Shigalyov's new plan of social organization?

5. How does Shatov respond to Lisa Tushin's proposal?

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

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

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

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

10. What is the relationship between Mr. Lembke and Peter Verkhovensky?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is Dostoevsky's perspective on the action in The Possessed? Is he narrating in all seriousness, or is he ironically or satirically detached from his characters?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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