Cousin Bette: Part One of Poor Relations 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. To whom is Lisbeth apprenticed by the Baron?

2. What nickname does the Baron give to Lisbeth?

3. What item does Hortense promise Lisbeth in exchange for proof of her beau's existence?

4. How long has Monsieur Crevel been a widower?

5. What particular significance does the name d'Ervy have to the Baron?

Short Essay Questions

1. What plan do Lisbeth and Hortense agree upon to help out Lisbeth's admirer? Who accompanies Hortense on this mission? Whom does her escort take notice of during this venture?

2. Who is Valerie Marneffe's father? Why does she inherit nothing upon his death?

3. Whom does Hortense decide to marry? What is the relationship between Hortense's intended and Lisbeth? Why does Baron Hulot tell her that Cousin Bette will not be an obstacle to Hortense's intended marriage?

4. What proof does Lisbeth provide of the existence of her admirer? What does she receive from Hortense in exchange for this information?

5. Who is the first character introduced in the novel? What information is surmised about his age? How is this information revealed?

6. Describe Lisbeth. How old is she? How does she dress? How does this affect her social standing in comparison to her cousin, the Baroness?

7. What information about Wenceslas' professional life does Valerie give to Lisbeth? What information about Wenceslas' personal life does she give Lisbeth? How does Lisbeth react to this news?

8. What does Lisbeth advise Wenceslas to do after the visit from Monsieur Grasset and what reason does she give for this? What does she promise to do?

9. What solution does Monsieur Crevel propose to the Baroness for the problem of Hortense's dowry? What other options does he tell her she has available to her?

10. What does Lisbeth tell Hortense and Adeline has happened to Wenceslas? How does Hortense react? How is Bette's lie discovered?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How are letters used as a literary device in Cousin Bette? Choose three examples from the text and discuss what information is revealed in each of these letters. Why is this information revealed in a letter rather than a dialogue? How is the materiality of the letter itself important in the advancement of the narrative?

Essay Topic 2

What is the relationship between Lisbeth and Valerie Marneffe? Using three examples from the novel, explain how Valerie and Lisbeth's relationship developed over time. Do the two women really care for one another or are they united by malice and spite only? Give details from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

How does the conflict "man versus man" appear in Cousin Bette? Give three specific examples from the text. Are these conflicts resolved? How does this type of conflict relate to the message of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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