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. Why does Ada want to give Lucette a bath?

2. How was Mr. Plunkett exposed at cheating at cards?

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

4. What do the two kids who find Marina's pressed-flower book decide to do with it?

5. Why does Greg come to Marina's house?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Marina describe Jews to her daughter?

4. How does Van first see Ada?

5. What is the first trick Ada and Van use to escape from Lucette?

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

7. What happens in Van's stage act?

8. How does young Van feel about Ada?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel follows Van and Ada from their youth through their old age. Discuss aging in the novel.

1) How does Van change throughout his life? Are his physical changes separable from his mental and emotional changes?

2) How do the characters' values and priorities change over time? What is important to them in their youth and as they grow older?

3) How do the characters' perceptions of the world around them and of their own relationship change as they age?

4) What meaning does the approach of death have for Van and Ada?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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