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 is Cordula doing when Van runs into her?

2. What is Van's purpose in writing his book about time?

3. How long does Van tell Demon his affair with Ada has been going on?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What exercise in memory does Van attempt, which he also gives to his patients?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What does Van do after leaving Demon?

10. What does Van give to Lucette in exchange for the name of the man who wants to marry her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Van as a character.

1) What drives Van's attraction to Ada? Why does he carry his obsession with her through long absences?

2) What is Van's perception of women? How does he treat them, and what role do they play in his life?

3) What is Van's perception of himself? How is he a "vain Veen"?

4) Discuss Van's work as a writer and psychologist. Why does he choose this work? Why does he write the books he writes, and what contributes to his philosophy?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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