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 are two events that Nabokov remembers watching outside his mother's window?

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

3. What is seen as a dreaded event?

4. What is a battle against the yawning darkness?

5. Why is the family forced to leave Russia?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is cause is Vladimir's passion?

3. What does young Vladimir think about when he wakes in the morning?

4. How does Nabokov describe the poet?

5. Vladimir and his brother, Sergey, go through a series of nurses and governesses. Describe some of his memories of these women.

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

7. Who is Kirill?

8. Who is Tamara?

9. In 1910, the Nabokov brothers acquire teeth braces. How does their father reward them for dealing with the dental sessions?

10. Why might be the reason for the Nabokov's leaving Europe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

What is significant about Nabokov's time spent in Biarritz? What does one learn about his character and view of women?

(see the answer keys)

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