|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Into which main form(s) was __Les Liaisons Dangereuses_ reproduced in the 20th century?
2. Why must Cécile's marriage be postponed?
3. What does Merteuil call Danceny in letter 38?
4. According to Merteuil in letter 10, which pretext do women use to submit to sexual pleasure with a man?
5. Who wrote the Publisher's Foreword to _Les Liasons Dangerueses_?
Short Essay Questions
1. Describe Merteuil's end in the novel.
2. Describe Cécile de Volanges.
3. What are Merteuil and Valmont's plans for Danceny and Cécile at the beginning of Part II?
4. Describe how Madame de Tourvel changes after being abandoned by Valmont.
5. What causes Cécile to become worried and sad about her upcoming marriage?
6. What does Merteuil suggest, in different forms, to Cécile and Valmont?
7. How does Valmont thwart Merteuil with regards to Danceny?
8. What was the general response to _Les Liaisons Dangereuses_ in the 20th century?
9. What does the author of the Introduction say is particularly engaging about Laclos' use of the epistolary form?
10. How does Cécile feel about Danceny's first letter?
Essay Topic 1
Discuss the theme of nature and artifice, especially with reference to Cécile, Danceny, Merteuil, and Valmont. What are the natural personalities, interests, motivations, and moralities of these characters? How do they consciously or unconsciously change themselves to show their own or others' various desires? Are nature and artifice associated with any kind of moral message in the novel? How does Merteuil's letter 81, in which she offers the story of her youth and her sexual education, complicate the distinctions between nature and artifice? When do Cécile and Danceny exhibit artificial behavior? How are nature and artifice made ambiguous in Valmont's seduction of Madame de Tourvel?
Essay Topic 2
Discuss the theme of innocence in the novel. How does the author describe "innocence" or "ignorance" and what connotations are attached to these words or ideas? In the novel, is innocence automatically ignorance? Who is impressionable in the novel?How do other characters take advantage of this? Which characters act innocent or ignorant in the novel? Are Madame de Volanges, Madame de Tourvel, and/or Madame de Rosemonde "innocents," in any way? What becomes of Cécile and Danceny's innocence? How are innocence and experience opposed in the novel?
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 2,867 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)