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. Why is Nabokov disappointed to hear that one of his tutors marries a peasant girl?

2. What does Nabokov reveal about his mind?

3. What does Nabokov call the process of using both the English and Russian translations of "Speak, Memory" to shape the current work?

4. What does Young Vladimir discover in the family's attic?

5. Who accompanies Vladimir and his companion on the beach?

Short Essay Questions

1. What jobs does Nabokov's father hold throughout his career?

2. Why does Nabokov have trouble sleeping?

3. What evidence from the text shows that Nabokov is beginning to have an interest in girls?

4. What happens to the family once they leave Russia?

5. Who are the tutors hired to educate the Nabokov children?

6. How does Nabokov spend hours of his time during this period of his life?

7. How does his butterfly hobby affect his life?

8. Nabokov reveals that his mind always associates sounds with colors. How does his mother react to this unusual sensibility?

9. Nabokov is surprised to learn of what happens to several of his art teachers in the future. Why?

10. What is cause is Vladimir's passion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nabokov speaks mainly of his brother and himself as experiencing a liberal education, even though Nabokov has two sisters.

Part 1) Why are they rarely mentioned?

Part 2) What training would be important for a girl in this society?

Part 3) What is the role of women at this time?

Essay Topic 2

Nabokov includes a chapter about butterflies.

Part 1) Why does he include this chapter?

Part 2) What does this say about Nabokov as a person?

Part 3) Must the author's purpose for a work be the only basis for studying and analyzing that work? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

How does the Nabokov family's lifestyle before exile contradict with the father's philosophy? Why might there be this discrepancy? What do you think is the opinion of the father about his family's lifestyle in Western Europe? Use information from the text to support your response.

(see the answer keys)

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