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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. How long does Van tell Demon his affair with Ada has been going on?
2. What does Van say it's wrong to confuse time with?
3. What part does Ada play in the film "The Young and the Doomed"?
4. Why does Demon not want to turn Van over to the authorities for incest?
5. Who does Van challenge to a duel?
Short Essay Questions
1. How does Van respond to an invitation to dine at the Captain's table?
2. How does Van gain the post of Rattner Chair of Philosophy at University of Kingston?
3. What does Van say is as common in dreams as metaphors are in poetry?
4. Why does Van think he is sterile?
5. What does Ada's letter say she will do if Van doesn't allow her to come live with him?
6. What tragedy happened at the Villa Venus in Souvenir, Missouri?
7. What does Van give to Lucette in exchange for the name of the man who wants to marry her?
8. Why does Van need to go back for more surgery?
9. What does Van write about in his unsent letter to Ada?
10. What metaphor does Van use for trying to understand time?
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
As Van's memoir, the novel deals with memory. It also deals with memory through Van's discussion of time and its meaning. Discuss time and memory in the novel.
1) How is the story of Van and Ada's childhood changed by memory? What significance is there to the fact that the children's diaries were destroyed, forcing them to recreate the events from memory?
2) What role does memory plan in Van and Ada's feelings about each other why they are separated?
3) How does time affect the characters? How does Van's discussion of time relate to the characters' experiences?
Essay Topic 3
Discuss the relationships between parents and children in the novel.
1) How does Van relate to Aqua? How does he relate to Demon? How does he relate to Marina? What does he get from each of these parental figures, and how do they affect him?
2) How does Marina relate to Ada and Lucette? How does she influence them? Compare her influence to the influence of the governess.
3) What influence does Dan have as a parent? How do Lucette and Ada relate to him?
This section contains 879 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)