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. How does Lisbeth control Valerie's potential household expenses?

2. With whom does Wenceslas claim to be dining while he is at Valerie Marneffe's house?

3. After Hector receives bad news from Johann Fischer, what bad news does he receive from Valerie in a letter?

4. What is Vauvinet's profession?

5. Besides leading Wenceslas astray, for what other family disgrace is Baron Hulot responsible?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In his letter to the Baron, what does Johann Fischer ask for? What is his plan if Hector cannot help him?

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

4. 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?

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

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. What post does Valerie ask Hector to obtain for Marneffe? What complications does Hector face in carrying out this wish for his mistress?

9. What are the three beauty spots that Valerie Marneffe arranges for her first meeting with Wenceslas? What is Wenceslas' impression of Valerie?

10. What publication makes Lisbeth so happy? What event begins a chain of events that will end this happiness?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The theme of deception is highlighted throughout the novel Cousin Bette. Choose three examples of deception from the novel and analyze the events and characters to which they relate. What message about deception and truth is conveyed in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the novel, the author uses several objects for symbolic purposes. Choose two examples of symbols from the text and discuss their significance. How do these symbols relate to the themes and message of Cousin Bette?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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