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. What does Monsieur Crevel suggest that Madame Hulot do to obtain a dowry for her daughter?

2. The author dedicates the novel to a scholar who studies which writer?

3. Why has the Baroness' brother-in-law never married?

4. Who informs Lisbeth that Wenceslas is to marry Hortense?

5. What is Monsieur Crevel doing while waiting for the Baroness to enter the sitting room?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where does Monsieur Grasset take Wenceslas? Why does this happen to the young artist?

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

3. Where does the Baron go after he finds the opera to be closed? What does he learn when he arrives there?

4. 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?

5. How do Monsieur Crevel and Monsieur Hulot know one another? How are they related? What occasioned their falling out?

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. Why does the Baroness summon Monsieur Crevel? Which of Monsieur Crevel's actions have affected the Baroness? Why has he acted this way?

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

10. How does Lisbeth meet Wenceslas in the first place? What is the relationship between them after this first meeting?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the end of the first part of Cousin Bette, the narrator compares the narrative to a classical tragedy. Use specific examples from the text to discuss which elements of classical tragedy are found in the novel and which elements are missing. In your opinion, can Cousin Bette be classified as a tragedy? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Pride is a significant theme in Cousin Bette. What is the message conveyed about pride in this novel? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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