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. What is Nicholas' relationship with Dasha, according to Liputin?

2. How does Nicholas Stavrogin kill a man?

3. What outrageous act does a local lieutenant commit?

4. What consequence does Stavrogin suffer after he is punched in the face?

5. What is Stepan Verkhovensky's relationship with Mrs. Stavrogin?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What happens to Stepan at the inn?

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

5. What objections are raised to murdering Shatov, and who raises them?

6. What is Peter's relationship with Stavrogin?

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

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

9. What does Mrs. Stavrogin suggest as a result of her sense that she is getting older?

10. How does the first chapter of Part I end?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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