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. Soon, the string of nurses transforms into what?

3. What does Nabokov call the process of using both the English and Russian translations of "Speak, Memory" to shape the current work?

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

5. Who are Miss Norcott and Miss Hunt?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Max do, regarding the watchdogs?

2. When does Nabokov begin to write poetry?

3. What is happening in the science of butterflies?

4. Who is Mademoiselle?

5. When does Nabokov meet Colette? How do they spend their time together?

6. How does his butterfly hobby affect his life?

7. Why is the couple allowed to be on their own.

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

9. Describe Nabokov's brother, Sergey.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

With what is Nabokov fascinated, in fact, obsessed? Give examples from the text to support your response. How do the members of his household encourage this obsession?

Essay Topic 2

Nabokov and his brother go through a series of nannies, governesses, and tutors.

Part 1) Choose four of these individuals. Describe them, and explain how the children benefit from their services.

Part 2) How does Nabokov, similar to many children, treat the nannies, governesses, and tutors?

Part 3) How does Nabokov's relationship with these individuals reveal his opinion of hired help and those in lower social classes?

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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