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 the youth of the town behaving at the time of the fête?

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

3. What warning does Stavrogin give to Shatov at the end of their conversation?

4. What plan does Mrs. Stavrogin make for Verhovensky?

5. Who does Lebyatkin live with?

Short Essay Questions

1. What injuries are inflicted during the duel?

2. How are Liputin, Shatov and Virginsky described when we meet them?

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

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

5. What stories and events are swirling in the aftermath of the confrontation that ended Part 1?

6. What does Lisa find out about Captain Lebyatikin's sister?

7. What is Kirilov's view of life, and how does Peter respond to it?

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 does Karmazinov think about Russia?

10. What is Gaganov's relationship with Stavrogin?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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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