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. How does the Nabokov family frequently travel from St. Petersburg to Paris?

2. What does this thriving upper-class tourist industry offer?

3. What is the common name for Boletusoften?

4. For whom is young Vladimir mistaken?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How are the Nabokov's affected by their son? What do we learn about Dmitri, as he grows?

3. What is Nabokov's favorite Captain Mayne Reid novel? Why?

4. When does Nabokov begin to write poetry?

5. How does Nabokov begin this final chapter?

6. The local schoolmaster is brought in to give the children a crash course in the Russian language. What takes place at a meeting between the father, son, and schoolmaster?

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

8. Nabokov's uncle, Vasiliy Ivanovich, is a diplomat and a dreamer, who occupies one of the estates near St. Petersburg when not abroad. What story does Nabokov recall about his uncle?

9. Why does Nabokov have trouble sleeping?

10. Describe Nabokov's brother, Sergey.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

However, even though Nabokov despises the Bolsheviks, he is determined to retain his Russian identity and to become proficient as a Russian author.

Part 1) Why is this important to him?

Part 2) How is becoming a Russian novelist a struggle at Cambridge?

Part 3) Predict where his works will be more popular, in Russia or Western Europe and the United States? Why?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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