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 kind of fish does Lucette have when she and Van go to lunch?

2. How long does Van spend in Cordula's Manhattan flat?

3. Who does Van write a letter to, to be sent in case he is killed in the duel?

4. What are the "three C's" Lucette says were talked about at Ada's house?

5. Where does Van track down Rack?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Lucette say about Ada's hands?

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

3. What is Cordula's conversation like?

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

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

6. What does Van say is as common in dreams as metaphors are in poetry?

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

8. Why does Van think he is sterile?

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

10. How does Van respond to an invitation to dine at the Captain's table?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The novel follows Van and Ada from their youth through their old age. Discuss aging in the novel.

1) How does Van change throughout his life? Are his physical changes separable from his mental and emotional changes?

2) How do the characters' values and priorities change over time? What is important to them in their youth and as they grow older?

3) How do the characters' perceptions of the world around them and of their own relationship change as they age?

4) What meaning does the approach of death have for Van and Ada?

(see the answer keys)

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