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 Van dream of the night after he first has sex with Ada?

3. What does Dick give Van as payment for losing the card game?

4. Where do Ada and Van go, where Van compares Ada's body to the girlish body of the past?

5. What is the "lolita" that Ada wears?

Short Essay Questions

1. What three facets does Van identify to the anguish of dying?

2. What does Van write about in his unsent letter to Ada?

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

4. What does Lucette say about Ada's hands?

5. How does Van first see Ada?

6. What exercise in memory does Van attempt, which he also gives to his patients?

7. What does Van say is as common in dreams as metaphors are in poetry?

8. In Marina's last days, why is Van planning a trip to America?

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

10. What happens in Van's stage act?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Van has a privileged life. Discuss privilege in the novel.

1) What freedoms does Van's wealth and status allow him? How would his life be different if he weren't wealthy?

2) How is it significant that Van has an independent inheritance from Aqua and is not dependent on Demon for money?

3) What is Van's perception of his position of privilege, and how does this perception change throughout his life, from youth to old age?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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