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 is a battle against the yawning darkness?

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

3. How does Mademoiselle provide Vladimir with an extra hour or two out of the darkness?

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

5. This chapter is the first recorded work, published in French in 1936, under the name "Mademoiselle O."

Short Essay Questions

1. The aristocratic Nabokov house is stocked with English and French amenities. What are some of the amenities?

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

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

4. Why does Mademoiselle want to leave the family?

5. What happens to Dimitri Nabokov after his retirement?

6. What does Nabokov experience in Crimea?

7. Where do they head to from Paris? What do they do when they get there?

8. What are Vladimir and Colette caught doing?

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

10. What does he learn about himself, regarding Russian poets?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nabokov seems to have a close relationship with his father.

Part 1) Describe their relationship.

Part 2) Compare and contrast Nabokov's relationship with his father and his relationship with his mother.

Part 3) What are possible reasons for the differences in the two relationships?

Essay Topic 2

Nabokov's family is exiled from Russia.

Part 1) Why?

Part 2) How is Nabokov's life is Western Europe?

Part 3) Although, Nabokov says his anger towards the Bolsheviks is due to his loss of country, how might his loss of wealth and status affect him?

Essay Topic 3

What surprises Nabokov when he encounters his former nanny, "Mademoiselle," years later? What are two possible reasons for his confusion?

(see the answer keys)

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