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. 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?

2. At sixteen, who does Ada say she's older than?

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

4. What stage name does Van perform under?

5. Why does Ada tell stories at meals?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Marina describe Jews to her daughter?

5. How does Van first see Ada?

6. Describe the encounter between Blanche and Van.

7. How does Dick cheat at cards, and how does Van best him?

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

9. What reason does Van give Marina for leaving?

10. How does Aqua kill herself?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Discuss Van as a character.

1) What drives Van's attraction to Ada? Why does he carry his obsession with her through long absences?

2) What is Van's perception of women? How does he treat them, and what role do they play in his life?

3) What is Van's perception of himself? How is he a "vain Veen"?

4) Discuss Van's work as a writer and psychologist. Why does he choose this work? Why does he write the books he writes, and what contributes to his philosophy?

(see the answer keys)

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