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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 term the act of pausing and sending the mind slightly backwards, to examine the moment of the present?
2. What names does Nabokov use for the world of the novel?
3. Who does Van challenge to a duel?
4. What department does Van study in at Kingston University, Mayne, in the Fall of 1892?
5. What does Van tell Lucette when she calls to ask to come to his room?
Short Essay Questions
1. What does Cordula tell Van about Vanda Broom?
2. How did Percy de Prey die?
3. What exercise in memory does Van attempt, which he also gives to his patients?
4. What does Ada's letter say she will do if Van doesn't allow her to come live with him?
5. What does Van plan to do in the duel?
6. How does Van gain the post of Rattner Chair of Philosophy at University of Kingston?
7. What does Van write about in his unsent letter to Ada?
8. How does Van respond to Ada's arrival?
9. What does Van say is as common in dreams as metaphors are in poetry?
10. How does Van remember his three farewell lectures on Bergson's Time?
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
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 3
The novel is filled with reflections of reality through art, such as films and photographs. Discuss these elements of the novel.
1) How do reflections of reality in the novel, like photographs or films, differ from reality itself? How do they create reality through memory?
2) What significance is there to Marina and later Ada's careers as actresses? How does the mimicking of reality in acting affect the characters?
3) How does the governess's screenplay reflect reality at Ardis Hall? How is it modified and changed in the process of production? What does this process of change show about imitations of reality?
This section contains 772 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)