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 is Van doing while he stays at Cordula's?

2. What is the best Franco-Estonian restaurant in Manhattan Major?

3. What type of fur coat does Ada wear?

4. When Demon is sixty, how old is his Spanish lover?

5. What does Van insist on doing to avoid going to bed the first night on the cruise?

Essay 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

Discuss sexuality in the novel.

1) How and why is sexuality related to youth in the novel? How does sexuality change with age?

2) How does sexuality relate to love and affection in the novel? What do the characters expect from sex, and what does sex actually provide?

3) What role does sexual decadence, especially represented by the Villa Venus brothels, play in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Van as a character.

1) What drives Van's attraction to Ada? Why does he carry his obsession with her through long absences?

2) What is Van's perception of women? How does he treat them, and what role do they play in his life?

3) What is Van's perception of himself? How is he a "vain Veen"?

4) Discuss Van's work as a writer and psychologist. Why does he choose this work? Why does he write the books he writes, and what contributes to his philosophy?

(see the answer keys)

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