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, Charlotte, and the captain speak of the concept of elective affinities?

2. What act of submissiveness does Charlotte warn Ottilie against?

3. What do the Captain and Charlotte resolve to do regarding the landscape improvements?

4. What activity does the male guest propose to his hosts upon his first look at the lands around the estate?

5. Early in the novel, what is the general feeling among the four main occupants of the household?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where on the estate do the four protagonists increase their work, and for what coming occasion?

2. Who is Herr Mittler, and what do Charlotte and Eduard ask for his help with?

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

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

5. How do the four protagonists' relationships change after Eduard evinces a passion for Ottilie?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Examine Luciane's character. What is her relation to Charlotte and Ottilie? How does Luciane's character compare specifically to Ottilie's character? What words or phrases best describe Luciane? What is notable about her interactions with others, and how do other characters feel about her and her presence at the estate? Does the narrator, through his use of tone or word choice, present Luciane in any particular manner? How does her characterization address the theme of self-contradiction in the novel? How does her character address the theme of public life versus private life in the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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