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 venture does Lisa approach Shatov for help with?

2. How does the Verkhovensky circle feel about Nicholas Stavrogin?

3. What does Stavrogin tell Peter he is planning to do?

4. How does Peter plan to instigate his father?

5. How has Shatov prepared to defend himself against Stavrogin?

Short Essay Questions

1. What kind of uprising is Peter planning?

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

3. Why is Stepan's house searched?

4. What stories are in circulation about Dasha's past?

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

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

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

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

9. How do we find out whether Peter intentionally circulated rumors about Dasha to instigate his father?

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 images or symbols repeat throughout The Possessed? How are images built into symbols, and what symbolic resonance do images acquire? Choose three images, and describe the symbolic associations the obtain throughout the book.

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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