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 does Marina have in her screwdrivers instead of orange juice?

2. What does Marina suspect might be Van's reason for leaving?

3. What was Van wearing the first time she glimpsed him, before they met?

4. 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?

5. What happens to the weather during Demon's dinner with Marina, Van, and Ada?

Short Essay Questions

1. What reason does Van give Marina for leaving?

2. How does Van feel about Marina?

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

4. What does Van do, when Ada suggests he spank Lucette?

5. How does Marina describe Jews to her daughter?

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

7. How does Aqua kill herself?

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

9. How does young Van feel about Ada?

10. What causes Lucette to follow Ada and Van around in Chapter 34?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare Lucette and Ada's characters in the novel.

1) What role does the age difference between Lucette and Ada play in their similarities and differences?

2) How doe Van love Lucette? How is this different from the way he loves Ada? Why?

3) What are Lucette and Ada's feelings for each other? What does this show about their personalities, values, and beliefs?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss vanity in the novel.

1) Van is described in the novel as vain. Does Van love himself more than any other? Is he proud? What characterizes his vanity?

2) Is Van's vanity an essential element of his attraction to Ada? Is he attracted to her because of her similarities to himself?

3) What role does Van's vanity play in his career? How does it relate to his acrobatic show? How does it relate to his psychological/philosophical books?

Essay Topic 3

Nabokov is known for wordplay, and part of this is using significant names or manipulating names. Discuss the names of characters and places in the novel.

1) What meanings are put onto the characters' names by their association with other words? For example, what do Demon, Aqua, and Marina's names mean? What meanings are put on "Ada" and "Van"?

2) Discuss the name of Ardis Hall and what meanings and associations it has in the novel.

3) How do characters' names change in different contexts? What do these name changes signify?

(see the answer keys)

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