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Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 5 Summary

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Chapter 5 Summary

Nabokov devotes Chapter Five to the governess, who spends the longest time raising he and his brother Sergey. They referred to her simply as "Mademoiselle." She begins her employment with the family in 1905, when Nabokov is six.

The family had spent almost an entire year abroad, but is finally returning to Russia. St. Petersburg is still experiencing some civil unrest, so Nabokov's father first brings them to the family's country estate in Vyra. Mademoiselle arrives in winter from her native Switzerland, bringing with her the one word she knows in Russian, "gde," meaning "Where?"

She is a corpulent woman with a hearing problem that becomes serious in later years, and an enchanting French, which seems to be her only endearing characteristic. She reads many novels to the boys, all in French, with a smooth, gentle voice, which mystifies the two boys...

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This section contains 790 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Study Guide
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Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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