Les Liaisons Dangereuses Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
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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. In his other writings, what view did Laclos take of women?

2. What does Merteuil call the woman Valmont wishes to seduce?

3. How did Laclos' contemporary critics feel his novel would impact society?

4. What is the first action Valmont takes to make Madame de Tourvel look favorably upon him?

5. What does Laclos favor over the well-trained mind?

Short Essay Questions

1. What action does Valmont take to make Madame de Tourvel love him, and what are the results?

2. How does Cécile describe Danceny to her friend Sophie?

3. Describe Cécile's relationship with Merteuil.

4. What does Madame de Volanges say about Valmont to warn Madame de Tourvel against becoming too friendly with him?

5. What subterfuge does Valmont use to come into possession of Madame de Tourvel's letters?

6. What does the Editor state in the Editor's Preface?

7. What is the content of Danceny's letters to Cécile?

8. What defines or designates the "libertine" literary tradition?

9. What event causes Cécile and Danceny to despair? What are the immediate results?

10. Describe Cécile de Volanges.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the different writing styles of various main characters: Cécile, Danceny, Valmont, Merteuil, Madame de Tourvel, Madame de Rosemonde, and Madame de Volanges. Are any character's style or styles of writing distinct in any way? What type of language, or what tone, is most associated with each character? To what subjects do these characters refer in their letters? How do their styles of writing contribute to the development of their characters? How do their different styles of writing contribute to the "theatricality" of the novel, to its pace, and to the audience's perception of the work?

Essay Topic 2

Consider the theme of women's sexuality in _Les Liaisons Dangereuses_. How is desire, in particular, expressed in the female characters? How do Cécile's, Merteuil's, and Madame de Tourvel's different experiences with sex, rape, seduction, courtship, initiation, and betrayal affect their character development, their roles in the plot of the novel, and their interactions with other male and female characters? What connections to contemporary French ideas of morality and gender roles do the sexuality of the female characters have? How is feminine sexual awareness or sexual activity opposed to masculine sexual awareness or sexual activity? How do other characters, or contemporary French high society, view women who are sexually experienced? Can you apply modern feminist critical theory to this discussion?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the types of mediation present in the novel. This could include: characters who mediate other characters' thoughts, actions, and feelings; the "editor" of the novel mediating the reader's interaction with the story by his arrangement of letters and placement and wording of notes; and plot itself being mediated through the letters. In some instances, the plot twists back upon itself, repeats itself, or offered through different perspectives. What is the effect and significance of such mediation on the themes, symbolism, character development, and the response of the reader?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,036 words
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