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 does the captain suggest must be celebrated in a special manner?

2. What letter does the Captain keep secret from his friends?

3. What does Eduard propose to sell to pay for the main project undertaken by the household?

4. Who is married to the owner of the estate?

5. Who broaches the subject to Eduard of reconciling with Charlotte?

Short Essay Questions

1. What sudden action does Eduard take after the Captain leaves the household?

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

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

4. What is the substance of Eduard's proposition to the Major, and the Major's response to it?

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

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

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

8. What plans does the architect have for the church?

9. What is problematic about Luciane's interactions with other people, and what is one example of this?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Consider the form, style, and content of the novel as a whole. What is the style of narrative discourse in which Goethe generally writes? What type of narrator is Goethe's narrator, and how does he use this figure as a mediation between the story and the reader? What are the effects on the narrative when the narrator occasionally switches verb tense? How does the occasional interspersion of letters and journal entries affect the "flow" of the novel, the reader's perspective of the characters, and the plot itself? How does this story fit into the genre of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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