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. Who is Mr. Gromwell?

2. How does Demon die?

3. How does Van feel about Ada when he first sees her after her husband's death?

4. How long does Van spend in Cordula's Manhattan flat?

5. What names does Nabokov use for the world of the novel?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Van respond to Ada's arrival?

3. What tragedy happened at the Villa Venus in Souvenir, Missouri?

4. What is Cordula's conversation like?

5. What does Van plan to do in the duel?

6. How did Percy de Prey die?

7. How does Van remember his three farewell lectures on Bergson's Time?

8. What does Van do after leaving Demon?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Terra and Antiterra in the novel.

1) Why does the author set the novel in an alternative reality, an "Antiterra"? What role does the imaginary planet, a mirror of our "real" world, play in the novel?

2) How do the characters envision Terra? What do their perceptions of Terra show about the characters themselves?

3) How do Terra and Antiterra differ? Compare the two worlds of the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Nabokov is known for wordplay, and part of this is using significant names or manipulating names. Discuss the names of characters and places in the novel.

1) What meanings are put onto the characters' names by their association with other words? For example, what do Demon, Aqua, and Marina's names mean? What meanings are put on "Ada" and "Van"?

2) Discuss the name of Ardis Hall and what meanings and associations it has in the novel.

3) How do characters' names change in different contexts? What do these name changes signify?

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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