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. Where does Van hear Ada say "chort" or "devil"?

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

3. What does Ada say about the roses Percy gives her?

4. What game did Van win in a match against Pat Rishin at Chose in 1887?

5. What does Van's father offer to try to buy for him?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the encounter between Blanche and Van.

2. What becomes of Ada's old governess?

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

4. What does Ada have to do before she can go off and meet Van in private in Chapter 20?

5. How does Marina describe Jews to her daughter?

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

7. How does Van feel about Cordula?

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

9. What does Marina chastise Van for, after calling him into her room?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss sexuality in the novel.

1) How and why is sexuality related to youth in the novel? How does sexuality change with age?

2) How does sexuality relate to love and affection in the novel? What do the characters expect from sex, and what does sex actually provide?

3) What role does sexual decadence, especially represented by the Villa Venus brothels, play in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

The novel is filled with reflections of reality through art, such as films and photographs. Discuss these elements of the novel.

1) How do reflections of reality in the novel, like photographs or films, differ from reality itself? How do they create reality through memory?

2) What significance is there to Marina and later Ada's careers as actresses? How does the mimicking of reality in acting affect the characters?

3) How does the governess's screenplay reflect reality at Ardis Hall? How is it modified and changed in the process of production? What does this process of change show about imitations of reality?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the structure of the novel.

1) What role does each of the five parts of the novel play? How does each represent a specific period in the relationship of Ada and Van, and how are those periods different from each other?

2) Why is the first book the longest? Why is the fourth book a single chapter?

3) In what ways is the structure chronological? How and why does it break out of chronological order?

(see the answer keys)

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