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. In any of the memories he has from before his obsession began, Nabokov cannot recall the presence of butterflies. What can he recall afterward?

2. To what does Nabokov compare existence?

3. Who are Miss Norcott and Miss Hunt?

4. Who is referred to simply as "Mademoiselle?"

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Nabokov's experience at Cambridge?

2. 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?

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

4. What is Nabokov's life like after leaving Cambridge?

5. What does the Russian revolution do to most of Russia's writers and artists?

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

7. What is the process Nabokov goes through to create a poem?

8. Why does Nabokov have trouble sleeping?

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

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

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

This autobiographical work ends with the family leaving on a boat for the United States.

Part 1) What might be the reason they decide to immigrate to the United States?

Part 2) What struggles might the family encounter? Why?

Part 3) Will Nabokov be successful in the United States? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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