The Brothers Karamazov

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Brothers Karamazov Multiple Choice Test

Read the following passage from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and answer the questions that follow.

“By the way, a Bulgarian I recently met in Moscow,” Ivan Fyodorovich went on, as if he were not listening to his brother, “told me how the Turks and Circassians there, in Bulgaria, have been committing atrocities everywhere, fearing a general uprising of the Slovs---they burn, kill, rape women and children, they nail prisoners by the ears to the fences and leave them there like that until the morning, and in the morning they hang them---and so on, it’s impossible to imagine it all. Indeed, people speak sometimes about the ‘animal’ cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to animals, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, artistically cruel. A tiger simply gnaws and tears, that is all he can do. It would never occur to him to nail people by their ears overnight, even if he were able to do it. These Turks, among other things, have also taken delight in torturing children, starting with cutting them out of their mothers’ wombs with a dagger, and ending with tossing nursing infants up in the air and catching them on their bayonets before their mother’s eyes. But here is a picture that I found very interesting. Imagine a nursing infant in the arms of its trembling mother, surrounded by Turks. They’ve thought up an amusing trick: they fondle the baby. They laugh to make it laugh, and they succeed---the baby laughs. At that moment a Turk aims a pistol at it, four inches from its face. The baby laughs gleefully, reaches out its little hands to grab the pistol, and suddenly the artist pulls the trigger right in its face and shatters its little head…Artistic, isn’t it? By the way, they say the Turks are very fond of sweets.”

1) What is the topic of the preceding passage?

A) The art of war between the Turks and Circassians.
B) Methods by which the Turks (and Circassians) torture children and their mothers.
C) Why the Turks enjoy sweets.
D) The improbability of an animal torturing a man.
E) A Bulgarian in Moscow.

2) How would you describe the preceding passage?

A) It is an anecdote.
B) It is an extended metaphor.
C) It is a biography.
D) It is an auto-biography.
E) It is an essay.

3) As the speaker brings up animals, he assumes that certain thoughts present in individuals:

A) Occur consistently in animals.
B) Occur randomly in animals.
C) Cannot be personified.
D) Are better than those in animals.
E) Are much too over the top.

4) The world “artistically” in line 8 is an example of a:

A) Adjective.
B) Noun.
C) Gerund Phrase.
D) Past Participle.
E) Adverb.

5) The lines dealing with the torturing of children towards the end of the passage might have what effect on readers?

A) They will be happy.
B) They will be upset.
C) They will not care.
D) They will be angry.
E) B and D.

6) In the last line (19), how does the speaker end his statement?

A) He shies away from the topic at hand, producing a strange effect on the reader.
B) He stays perfectly on topic, providing essential information about the Turks.
C) He concludes by referring to his opening statement.
D) He believes that he is being funny.
E) None of the above.

7) When the speaker states, “Artistic, isn’t it?” (Lines 18-19) he is most likely being:

A) Serious.
B) Indifferent.
C) Sarcastic.
D) Sincere.
E) Obvious.

8) How do the Turks torture the children and their mothers?

A) They toss them into the air and catch them on their bayonets.
B) They feed them to crocodiles.
C) They fondle them and then shoot them.
D) A and C.
E) B and C.

9) A “dagger” (line 12) is what kind of weapon?

A) A knife or sword.
B) A gun.
C) A mace.
D) A missile.
E) A net.

10) In line 13, is “mother’s” grammatically correct?

A) Yes, it shows that the mother is in possession of the “eyes.”
B) No, because the mothers are considered a group, not a single person.
C) Yes, all possessive forms end in “apostrophe s.”
D) No, because at another point in the passage, it is spelled differently.
E) Yes, because there is actually only one mother being spoken of.

11) Which line is a form of generalization or assumption?

A) “They’ve thought up an amusing trick…”
B) “But here is a picture that I found very interesting.”
C) “…they burn, kill, rape women and children…”
D) “These Turks, among other things, have also taken a delight…”
E) “A tiger simply gnaws and tears, that is all he can do.”

12) After concluding this passage, what might the reader think The Brothers Karamazov revolves around?

A) Philosophy.
B) Candies and sweets.
C) Animal discussion.
D) Torture.
E) The Turks.


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