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. When does Nabokov see Mademoiselle again after she is no longer in their household?

2. What does Nabokov reveal about his mind?

3. Mademoiselle threatens several times to leave. Why does she end up staying?

4. Each day, when he awakes, how can young Vladimir tell what kind of day it is?

5. In exile in America, when a ranger or marshal spots him traipsing into the backwoods, net in hand, what is he asked?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Nabokov's brother, Sergey.

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

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

4. Describe Nabokov's mother.

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

6. How does young Nabokov react to rumor that his father has challenged someone to a duel?

7. What happens to Dimitri Nabokov after his retirement?

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

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

10. How does Nabokov describe the final years in Europe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Nabokov gives a brief history of his maternal and paternal ancestors.

Part 1) Describe his paternal and maternal ancestors.

Part 2) Compare and contrast these ancestors.

Part 3) What can one learn about Nabokov from this information?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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