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 one subject of the guests and hosts' conversation during the group's first dinner together?

2. How does Eduard resolve to fulfill his growing need to be always around Ottilie?

3. Where have the two young women mentioned in Part I, Chapter 1, been living for some years?

4. What final decision does Eduard make at the end of Part I?

5. Whom does the master of the estate propose come to live with himself and his wife?

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

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

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

5. What does the Baroness discover about Eduard, and how does she react to it?

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

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

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

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

10. What changes in the Captain's future situation come to light in Part I, Chapter 14?

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

Discuss the themes of sin and repentance in the novel. What kinds of "sins" are displayed throughout the novel, and what acts (if any) of "repentance" are connected to those sins? In which ways do the various characters attempt to repent, and what are they repenting for? Do any characters exemplify the theme of repentance more or less than others? If so, what is the significance of this difference in the various characters' perspectives of repentance? What are the religious and/or moral significance or connotations of repentance?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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