Ada; or, Ardor: A Family Chronicle Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Van say it's wrong to confuse time with?

2. Who is visiting Villa Venus, causing it to be overrun with police?

3. What name does Van have for frightening dreams?

4. What is Van doing while he stays at Cordula's?

5. What two kinds of dreams does Van generally have?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the mental and physical worlds in the novel.

1) How does the mental world of Van's intellectual investigations and books relate to the physical world around him?

2) How does Van's mental relationship with Ada relate to their physical relationship?

3) How does the balance of mind and body, mental and physical change over time, as Van ages?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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