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. How does Mr. Cummings influence Nabokov's scientific drawings of butterflies?

3. What does the butterfly net in particular always invite?

4. Where does Nabokov's mother trick Dimitri into believing he is still?

5. Why does Nabokov's father force the family to leave a sidewalk cafe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Nabokov's encounters with his cousin, Yuri.

2. What happens to Dimitri Nabokov after his retirement?

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

4. What evidence does the chapter give of Nabokov's bourgeois, aristocratic life?

5. Who is Tamara?

6. Describe Nabokov's ancestors.

7. Why is Nabokov angry with the Bolsheviks? What is the cause of this anger?

8. How does Nabokov's autobiography begin?

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

10. What evidence is there showing that Nabokov and Tamara's relationship is not as innocent as his parents may think it is.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There is a great gulf between classes in early-twentieth century Russia.

Part 1) What evidence from the text proves this statement.

Part 2) How does this separation of classes affect Russia?

Part 3) How might Nabokov's experiences have changed once he emigrates to Western Europe, and finally to the United States? How mighthe feel about these changes?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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