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. How are the youth of the town behaving at the time of the fête?

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

4. What are the terms under which Stepan departs Mrs. Stavrogin's house?

5. Who is on his way to visit at the end of the second chapter?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do people explain the gathering of workers from the Spigulin factory?

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

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

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

5. What happens when Shatov shows up to meet Peter and Erkel?

6. What is on the schedule for the fête, and what is Julia Lembke's position in town on the eve of the fête?

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

8. How many people end up involved in the conversation between Mrs. Stavrogin and Shatov at the beginning of Chapter 3 in Part I?

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

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

Essay 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

Is Shatov's wife's pregnancy a source of real hope in The Possessed, or is the hope undermined by her infidelity and Shatov's murder? Does the childbirth redeem anyone in the book?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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