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 is notable about the letters Eduard writes to Ottilie?

2. What about the contract Ottilie copied does Eduard find singular and astonishing?

3. What idea of the male guest strikes Charlotte like a "thunderbolt?"

4. What scientific subject becomes a main object of conversation between the hosts and their male guest?

5. What incident prompts the captain and Charlotte to kiss?

Short Essay Questions

1. Which of Luciane's experiments in "moral regeneration" goes wrong, which Charlotte hears about after Luciane leaves the estate?

2. What is the first faux pas the foreign visitor commits, and why is it a social flub?

3. In Part I, Chapter 6, what activity becomes the clear marker of the shifting compatibilities of the four protagonists?

4. Briefly summarize the story behind Eduard and Charlotte's marriage.

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

6. Describe Eduard's character, as the narrator paints it early in the novel.

7. How does Charlotte and Ottilie's relationship change after Otto's death?

8. Describe Eduard's estate and his, the Captain's, and Charlotte's general plans for it.

9. How does Ottilie occupy herself after Charlotte and Eduard's confrontation and Eduard's subsequent actions?

10. What foreign visitor comes to the estate, and how do his views impact Charlotte and Ottilie?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Consider the personalities of the characters; the insight the reader gets into each of their minds, feelings, and motivations; and the topic of losing one's rational sense. Why is it important that the narrative structure allows each character's thoughts and feelings to be "visible" to the reader? What is significant about each character truly having a "mind" that can explain his or her actions to the reader? Offer at least two examples each of when specific characters think and act rationally, and when specific characters do not think and act rationally--that is, when they allow their passions to overtake them. What are the outcomes of each situation? How are other characters impacted by each instance? How does the narrator treat rational and irrational situations, feelings, and choices through his tone, language, and style? Is there any concrete judgment of the merits of either rationality or irrationality over the other?

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

Choose three symbolic objects, characters, places, or events in the novel and discuss their significance to the plot, character development, thematic evolution, and the narrative as a whole. Some examples of symbolism include: Ottilie's miniature portrait of her father; the crystal goblet engraved with "EO;" the moss hut and pavilion; the various celebrations for characters' birthdays; Eduard's decision to rejoin the military; the events at Otto's baptism; Ottilie's Moroccan chest; the fireworks at the lake; the relationship between the Count and the Baroness; the contract; the restoration of the chapel; Otto's death; Charlotte's changes to the burial grounds in the churchyard; and so on. What do your selected symbols mean for the characters in the novel and do they differ from how you the reader interpret them in your analysis of the narrative as a whole?

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