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. What is Marina, Demon, and Daniel's shared birthday?

2. How do Ada and Van keep their correspondence secret?

3. On his way to catch the train to Luga, Mayne, to resume school, what excuse does Van make to stop the car to meet Ada?

4. What meaning does Marina put on Ada's black jumper and black skirt?

5. Why does the governess decide to stay in bed for five days?

Short Essay Questions

1. What becomes of Ada's old governess?

2. How does Aqua kill herself?

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

4. How does young Van feel about Ada?

5. What does Blanche look like as she is ready to leave?

6. What bad habit does Ana stop on her twelfth birthday?

7. How does Van first see Ada?

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

9. How does Van circumvent the rules about what Ada is supposed to read from the library?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The central story of the novel is focused on the incestuous relationship between Ada and Van. Discuss incest in the novel.

1) What are Van and Ada's attitudes toward incest? The implication is that even as children, they know they are brother and sister. Do they hide this knowledge from themselves? Do they accept it?

2) Why do Ada and Van change their mind about living together when Demon finds out? Are their self-perceptions changed by Demon's admission of their relationship as siblings? Are their actions driven by Demon's open knowledge of the secret? What are the societal attitudes involved?

3) Why does Van tell Lucette he doesn't want another incestuous relationship with her? What is different about a relationship with Lucette, as opposed to any other unrelated woman?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss madness in the novel.

1) What is Aqua's madness in the novel? Why does she go from sanitarium to sanitarium, and why does she kill herself?

2) What types of madness do Van's patients display? Why do mad patients see visions of Terra in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the novel's portrayal of men and women.

1) How are men and women's experience of sexuality different in the novel? How are they treated differently by society?

2) What does success mean for men and women in the novel? How is it different because of gender?

3) What are men and women's intellectual pursuits in the novel? How are they different because of gender?

(see the answer keys)

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