Elective Affinities; Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is Charlotte agitated by the foreign visitor's tale?

2. What thought about Ottilie's future preoccupies Charlotte?

3. What tragedy results from Ottilie's decision to go against what she knows is safe?

4. What proposition does Eduard make to the Major?

5. Whom do Otto's facial features resemble?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the personalities of the characters; the insight the reader gets into each of their minds, feelings, and motivations; and the topic of losing one's rational sense. Why is it important that the narrative structure allows each character's thoughts and feelings to be "visible" to the reader? What is significant about each character truly having a "mind" that can explain his or her actions to the reader? Offer at least two examples each of when specific characters think and act rationally, and when specific characters do not think and act rationally--that is, when they allow their passions to overtake them. What are the outcomes of each situation? How are other characters impacted by each instance? How does the narrator treat rational and irrational situations, feelings, and choices through his tone, language, and style? Is there any concrete judgment of the merits of either rationality or irrationality over the other?

Essay Topic 2

Choose two minor characters and discuss their significance to the main plot elements in which they appear, and how their presence, actions, or influence contribute to the thematic development of the novel as a whole. What are these minor characters' relationships with the four main characters, what social class do they occupy, and what of their personality traits seem important to you in describing their influence? How do the minor characters interact with and affect the main characters of the novel? What specific role do they have in the plot episode in which they appear? Do you think these characters or their presence in the novel symbolize anything? Suggestions for minor characters include: Herr Mittler, the architect, Luciane, Nanni, the Count, the Baroness, the schoolmaster, and the Englishman.

Essay Topic 3

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?

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