Elective Affinities; Test | Mid-Book 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 act of submissiveness does Charlotte warn Ottilie against?

2. What building has been completed for the celebration planned by Eduard and the Captain?

3. To whom does the captain find himself irresistibly attracted?

4. What nickname do both the master of the estate and his male guest share?

5. What activity does the male guest propose to his hosts upon his first look at the lands around the estate?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the substance of Charlotte and Eduard's argument at the beginning of Part I, Chapter 16, and how is it resolved?

2. What counteroffer does Charlotte make to Eduard's proposal of the Captain's visit?

3. How does Ottilie and Charlotte's relationship change in Part I, Chapter 17?

4. Describe the Count and the Baroness and the circumstances surrounding them.

5. Summarize the letters from the headmistress and the schoolmaster.

6. How do the four protagonists' relationships change after Eduard evinces a passion for Ottilie?

7. What is the general substance of the mason's address during the ceremony of the foundation stone of the pavilion?

8. Summarize the concept of "elective affinities," and describe how the Captain, Eduard, and Charlotte formulate their discussion of this concept.

9. How does Ottilie act around the others when she arrives at the estate?

10. What confusion does Eduard experience, after conducting the Count to a midnight visit with the Baroness?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Apply the principle of "elective affinities," as discussed by Eduard, Charlotte, and the Captain in Part I, Chapter 4, to the novel in its entirety. Provide a short summary of the essence of the idea of elective affinities: what is it, and in which disciplines is it particularly useful? How do Eduard, Charlotte, and the Captain understand and explain this principle? Where do you find this principle most present in the various relationships between the four protagonists? Do you find aspects of elective affinities present in any of the minor characters, or in any of the portions of the novel that are not strictly related to the plot (such as letters, journals, and other stories)?

Essay Topic 2

Address the question of the "moral of the story": does the novel possess a clear, concise moral message? Do contradictions and problems exist in the novel that could complicate the moral message of the novel? What is the relationship between religion and morality? Does the narrator, through tone or word choice, appear to either pass judgment or encourage readers to judge characters and their actions? Are there problems, as a reader and critical reader of the novel, in forming moral judgments on specific characters?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the role of Herr Mittler and the theme of mediation in the novel. What is Herr Mittler's role, and how does he "play his part" by interacting in specific ways with the other characters? How does the narrator act as a mediator between the reader and the characters, plot, and moral of the story? Mediation means to "come between" things--are there any other mediating forces in the novel, besides Mittler, such as other characters, events, settings, objects, ideas, and so on?

(see the answer keys)

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