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 causes Eberthella Brown to spill her coffee?

2. What does Van tell Lucette when she calls to ask to come to his room?

3. What day does Ada's husband die?

4. How many copies of Van's book are sold in the first year?

5. How does Van feel about Ada when he first sees her after her husband's death?

Short Essay Questions

1. What plan does Lucette propose to Van?

2. What does Cordula tell Van about Vanda Broom?

3. What is Cordula's conversation like?

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

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

6. How did Percy de Prey die?

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

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

9. What is Van's opinion of acting?

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

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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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