Ada; or, Ardor: A Family Chronicle Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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 tell stories at meals?

2. What is the "eremitic reality or collective dream" Van discusses in his dissertation called?

3. What does Dack run through the house with?

4. What gift does Dan give Ada for her birthday?

5. Who walks in on Ada and Van making love?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Van give to Lucette in exchange for the name of the man who wants to marry her?

2. What metaphor does Van use for trying to understand time?

3. How does Van respond to an invitation to dine at the Captain's table?

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

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

6. How does Van gain the post of Rattner Chair of Philosophy at University of Kingston?

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

8. What does Ada say lions do when they eat a person?

9. Describe the encounter between Blanche and Van.

10. What were the reviews of Van's first book like?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the mental and physical worlds in the novel.

1) How does the mental world of Van's intellectual investigations and books relate to the physical world around him?

2) How does Van's mental relationship with Ada relate to their physical relationship?

3) How does the balance of mind and body, mental and physical change over time, as Van ages?

Essay Topic 2

Van and Ada part bitterly after 1888 because of jealousy, and jealousy plays an important role in their relationship. Discuss jealousy in the novel.

1) Why is Van so jealous of Ada's other sexual relationships, when he is also sexually active without her? How is Ada jealous of Van?

2) How is Lucette jealous of Ada? How does her jealousy affect and define her relationships with Van and with Ada?

3) What other jealousies exist in the novel? How do the different characters respond to and think of jealousy?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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