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 event do the men resolve should mark the celebratory finishing date of their various improvements to the landscape of the estate?

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

3. How does Charlotte respond to Eduard's passion for Ottilie?

4. What does the male guest criticize about the estate?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What event leads to a sexually charged encounter between Charlotte and the Captain, and how does Charlotte react to it?

2. What does Eduard decide to do to further his relationship with Ottilie, and how does this attempt end up?

3. What does Eduard plan with the Major regarding their relationships with Charlotte and Ottilie?

4. How does the novel end?

5. What is the nature of the "pendulum experiment" that one of the foreign visitors proposes, why does he propose it, and what are its results?

6. Describe Eduard's and the Captain's interactions with members of the lower social classes.

7. Summarize the event which results in Eduard finding himself attracted to Ottilie.

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

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

10. How do Eduard, Charlotte, and Ottilie act once they are all living in the same house together again?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine Ottilie's character as it evolves over the entire course of the novel. What is Ottilie like in the beginning of the book, in the middle, and by the end? How does she express her thoughts and feelings? What sort of language does she use, and how does the narrator describe her directly and indirectly? What notable actions does Ottilie take through the course of the novel, and what motivates these actions? How are your perceptions of her shaped by Ottilie herself, by other characters, and by the narrator?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Examine Ottilie's journal entries, which appear in Part II, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9. How do they offer insight into Ottilie's character? What is the significance of the style she writes in? What type of language does she use? What subject matter does she consider? Why might the narrator decide to place them where he does (at the ends of several chapters in Part II)? What is the significance of the context of each letter? Do these letters function to give Ottilie a new role in the novel? Discuss these letters' significance to the themes of fate and of personal agency in the novel, as these themes relate to Ottilie herself. Concentrate on Ottilie's specific word choice, subject matter, context, metaphorical or figurative language, and tone.

(see the answer keys)

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