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 does Chapter 5 begin?

2. What event results in an investigation that discovers radical literature?

3. What is Peter planning throughout Part II of The Possessed?

4. What last-minute effort does Stavrogin make to avert the duel?

5. What rumors is Peter spreading in the days before the fête?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe the events that take place on stage at the fête.

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

5. What is the purpose of the gathering at Mr. Virginsky's house?

6. What does Peter tell us about Nicholas Stavrogin's relationship with Miss Lebyatkin?

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

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

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

10. Describe Nicholas Stavrogin's status in Russian society.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 does Russianness consist of in The Possessed? Who possesses it? Who defends it? Who attacks it?

(see the answer keys)

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