Cousin Bette: Part One of Poor Relations Test | Final 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 bad news does Johann Fischer communicate to Hector Hulot in a letter?

2. When Crevel goes to Valerie's flat the morning after his revelation to Hulot, whom does he find at the breakfast table with her?

3. What proof of Wenceslas' infidelity does Hortense receive?

4. Who inadvertently informs Hortense that Wenceslas had lied to her about his whereabouts the evening that he dined with Valerie Marneffe?

5. To whom does Adeline give the little money she has received from the Baron, thereby depriving herself even of food?

Short Essay Questions

1. Besides the news of the embezzlement scheme in the newspaper, what other news item is featured in the Revue des Beaux-Arts? What is Hortense's reaction to this item?

2. What problem with her husband does Valerie alert Hector to in a letter? What solution does she suggest to this predicament? How does Hector respond to this suggestion?

3. When he returns home after speaking to Valerie about the impossibility of Marneffe's promotion, what does Hector catch Adeline doing? With what intention did he return to his family that evening?

4. What happens when Hector goes to visit Valerie after he receives her letter? How does he receive a message from her and what is communicated?

5. Whom does Hector ask to solve his compromising situation with the Marneffes? What does this character do to help the Baron?

6. What proof of Wenceslas' infidelity does Hortense receive? What does she decide to do after she receives this proof and why?

7. What does the regimental quartermaster from Algeria bring to Hector? What was he expecting the quartermaster to have brought him?

8. What solution does Bette give for Hortense and Wenceslas' money troubles? Why does Hortense object to this solution?

9. What does Adeline advise Hortense to do after her first quarrel with Wenceslas over Valerie Marneffe? What does Adeline reveal to her daughter about her own marriage?

10. What news is in the letter to Wenceslas from Valerie? What plan does she concoct for the interception of the letter and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

How is irony manifested in Cousin Bette? Choose two examples of irony from the text and explain their classification and significance. How does the use of irony affect the tone of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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