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. Which of the following is NOT the name of one of Van's books?

2. Where is Lucette staying in New York?

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

4. What word does Greg seem to like to use?

5. What does Van term the act of pausing and sending the mind slightly backwards, to examine the moment of the present?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Cordula tell Van about Vanda Broom?

3. How did Percy de Prey die?

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

5. What plan does Lucette propose to Van?

6. What does Van plan to do in the duel?

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

8. Why does Van think he is sterile?

9. What were the reviews of Van's first book like?

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

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 2

Discuss Terra and Antiterra in the novel.

1) Why does the author set the novel in an alternative reality, an "Antiterra"? What role does the imaginary planet, a mirror of our "real" world, play in the novel?

2) How do the characters envision Terra? What do their perceptions of Terra show about the characters themselves?

3) How do Terra and Antiterra differ? Compare the two worlds of the novel.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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