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 example does Van use in discussing order or succession in our perception of the past?

2. What does Van think about the relativistic idea of space-time?

3. What does VPL stand for?

4. In the central photograph on a page of small images, what is the only part of Ada that's visible?

5. What symptom causes Andrey to go to the doctor?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Cordula tell Van about Vanda Broom?

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

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

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

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

6. How does Van characterize to Greg his relationship with Ada?

7. How does Demon discover that Van is living with Ada?

8. Why does Van need to go back for more surgery?

9. What is Cordula's conversation like?

10. In Marina's last days, why is Van planning a trip to America?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The novel is a memoir, narrated by Van with input from Ada, and written in the third person with occasional first-person interludes. Discuss point of view in the novel.

1) Why does Van write his memoir mainly in the third person? What does this say about Van's perception of himself through time and his memories?

2) At what points does Van interrupt the narrative in the first person? What do these first person sections add to the novel? Why are they there?

3) What does Ada add to the novel? Where is her voice present?

Essay Topic 3

The central story of the novel is focused on the incestuous relationship between Ada and Van. Discuss incest in the novel.

1) What are Van and Ada's attitudes toward incest? The implication is that even as children, they know they are brother and sister. Do they hide this knowledge from themselves? Do they accept it?

2) Why do Ada and Van change their mind about living together when Demon finds out? Are their self-perceptions changed by Demon's admission of their relationship as siblings? Are their actions driven by Demon's open knowledge of the secret? What are the societal attitudes involved?

3) Why does Van tell Lucette he doesn't want another incestuous relationship with her? What is different about a relationship with Lucette, as opposed to any other unrelated woman?

(see the answer keys)

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