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 is Van's purpose in writing his book about time?

2. Why have the Robinsons given Lucette some medicine?

3. What does Van see in Lucette's handbag?

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

5. What does Ada think of Van's change in weight?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Van think he is sterile?

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

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

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

5. When Ada telephones Van, what does she tell him?

6. How did Percy de Prey die?

7. What metaphor does Van use for trying to understand time?

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

9. What is Cordula's conversation like?

10. How does Van gain the post of Rattner Chair of Philosophy at University of Kingston?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the structure of the novel.

1) What role does each of the five parts of the novel play? How does each represent a specific period in the relationship of Ada and Van, and how are those periods different from each other?

2) Why is the first book the longest? Why is the fourth book a single chapter?

3) In what ways is the structure chronological? How and why does it break out of chronological order?

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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