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 wakes Van his first morning at his aunt's home?

2. When Demon sees Ada, what about her appearance can he not bear?

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

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

5. At the table at Ardis Hall, who does Lucette sit between?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Van feel about Cordula?

2. What does Van say about his heartbeat as he grows older?

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

4. How does Marina describe Jews to her daughter?

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

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

7. Why does Van need to go back for more surgery?

8. What does Van propose about the future in his treatise on time?

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

10. How does Demon discover that Van is living with Ada?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss madness in the novel.

1) What is Aqua's madness in the novel? Why does she go from sanitarium to sanitarium, and why does she kill herself?

2) What types of madness do Van's patients display? Why do mad patients see visions of Terra in the novel?

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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