Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited 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 does Nabokov reveal about his mind?

2. What do the first-class carriages feature?

3. With what is the aristocratic Nabokov house stocked?

4. What game does the whole family often play on the estate?

5. What mystifies the two boys about Mademoiselle?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to Dimitri Nabokov after his retirement?

2. How does young Nabokov react to rumor that his father has challenged someone to a duel?

3. Explain the process used to create this book.

4. What is known about the chapters prior to the writing of this book?

5. When does Nabokov begin to write poetry?

6. How does Nabokov's autobiography begin?

7. He also had several art instructors. Who are they and what does he learn from them?

8. What memory leads to an important memory about his father?

9. How does Nabokov meet Mademoiselle after she leaves Russia?

10. What happens after the revolution to Nabokov's family?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nabokov has always had difficulty sleeping.

Part 1) Why?

Part 2) What is the purpose of an autobiography?

Part 3) What is the purpose of this autobiography?

Essay Topic 2

Nabokov matures throughout this book.

Part 1) What evidence is there from the text that Nabokov is changing physically and emotionally?

Part 2) How does his father handle Nabokov's intimate questions, regarding changes in his body?

Part 3) Describe his relationships with girls. How do these relationships change as he grows up?

Essay Topic 3

Part of this autobiography observes the beginnings of Nabokov's literary talents.

Part 1) How do we first catch a glimpse of his talent as a writer?

Part 2) What is his process for creating his writing, at this stage in his life?

Part 3) How might the encouragement he receives from his family affect his writing career later in life?

(see the answer keys)

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