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. How do Eduard and Charlotte act in front of the others the morning after they sleep together?

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

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

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

5. What event does the captain suggest must be celebrated in a special manner?

Short Essay Questions

1. For what reason does the foursome decide to build a pavilion?

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

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

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

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

6. What does Mittler do regarding Charlotte and Eduard's tense situation?

7. Why does Charlotte object to Eduard's proposal of bringing the Captain to live at their estate?

8. How does Eduard change in the wake of his realization of his passion for Ottilie?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Examine the role of human beings in shaping the natural landscape. What do the four protagonists use the land for? How do they view their use of it, and the general purpose the landscape has? Describe their relationship to the land in terms of the utilitarian, the picturesque, the beautiful, and/or the sublime? What does nature seem to symbolize for each character, and what is the significance of this symbolism? How might a reader interpret the protagonists' use of and relation to the land as a statement by Goethe about human interactions with nature in his own time and place?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss at least two specific situations in the novel (these could be events, individual characters' reflections and thoughts, discussions between characters, or instances in which something symbolic is introduced by the narrator or a character) in which the themes of marriage, love, fidelity, passion, and/or adultery play a significant role. What differing views are provided of the institution of marriage (whether traditional, cultural, religious, or personal), and which characters express which views? How does the nature and origin of Charlotte and Eduard's marriage influence the development of the novel's plot? How are each main character's views on marriage significant to the development of the plot, of each character, and of the themes of marriage, fidelity, love, passion, and adultery?

(see the answer keys)

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