Ada; or, Ardor: A Family Chronicle 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. After Van returns from washing his hands, where does he find Ada?

2. What article does Uncle Dan try to read?

3. When Van takes a walk after first arriving at Ardis Hall, who does he run into?

4. Why does Phillip Rack come upstairs, interrupting Ada and Van?

5. What does Bout comment is covered in dust?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Marina describe Jews to her daughter?

2. How does young Van feel about Ada?

3. How doe Van describe Ada's way of talking when explaining something funny?

4. How does Ada act when she tells stories at the table?

5. What happens in Van's stage act?

6. Where and in what circumstances do Van and Ada first have sex?

7. How does Dick cheat at cards, and how does Van best him?

8. What do Demon think of Marina's career as an actress?

9. How does Aqua kill herself?

10. How does Lucette want to draw flowers, when her sister is trying to teach her to draw?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the mental and physical worlds in the novel.

1) How does the mental world of Van's intellectual investigations and books relate to the physical world around him?

2) How does Van's mental relationship with Ada relate to their physical relationship?

3) How does the balance of mind and body, mental and physical change over time, as Van ages?

Essay Topic 2

Van and Ada part bitterly after 1888 because of jealousy, and jealousy plays an important role in their relationship. Discuss jealousy in the novel.

1) Why is Van so jealous of Ada's other sexual relationships, when he is also sexually active without her? How is Ada jealous of Van?

2) How is Lucette jealous of Ada? How does her jealousy affect and define her relationships with Van and with Ada?

3) What other jealousies exist in the novel? How do the different characters respond to and think of jealousy?

Essay Topic 3

As Van's memoir, the novel deals with memory. It also deals with memory through Van's discussion of time and its meaning. Discuss time and memory in the novel.

1) How is the story of Van and Ada's childhood changed by memory? What significance is there to the fact that the children's diaries were destroyed, forcing them to recreate the events from memory?

2) What role does memory plan in Van and Ada's feelings about each other why they are separated?

3) How does time affect the characters? How does Van's discussion of time relate to the characters' experiences?

(see the answer keys)

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