Ada; or, Ardor: A Family Chronicle Test | Final 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 Van not bother to put on before heading out to meet Ada?

2. What is Van's earliest memory?

3. Who quips to Veen that he doesn't really need two women?

4. What is Lucette studying in 1892?

5. Who chooses the girls at Villa Venus?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is Cordula's conversation like?

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

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

5. What does Cordula tell Van about Vanda Broom?

6. What excuse does Van make up to have time alone with Ada?

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

8. What does Ada's letter say she will do if Van doesn't allow her to come live with him?

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

10. What plan does Lucette propose to Van?

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 central story of the novel is focused on the incestuous relationship between Ada and Van. Discuss incest in the novel.

1) What are Van and Ada's attitudes toward incest? The implication is that even as children, they know they are brother and sister. Do they hide this knowledge from themselves? Do they accept it?

2) Why do Ada and Van change their mind about living together when Demon finds out? Are their self-perceptions changed by Demon's admission of their relationship as siblings? Are their actions driven by Demon's open knowledge of the secret? What are the societal attitudes involved?

3) Why does Van tell Lucette he doesn't want another incestuous relationship with her? What is different about a relationship with Lucette, as opposed to any other unrelated woman?

Essay Topic 3

As Van's memoir, the novel deals with memory. It also deals with memory through Van's discussion of time and its meaning. Discuss time and memory in the novel.

1) How is the story of Van and Ada's childhood changed by memory? What significance is there to the fact that the children's diaries were destroyed, forcing them to recreate the events from memory?

2) What role does memory plan in Van and Ada's feelings about each other why they are separated?

3) How does time affect the characters? How does Van's discussion of time relate to the characters' experiences?

(see the answer keys)

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