|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. How does Coward recommend the novel should be criticized?
2. What advice does Valmont give to Madame de Tourvel?
3. What does Cécile think are pretty much the same thing?
4. Why is Cécile unable to go to the opera with Merteuil?
5. What does Merteuil call Danceny in letter 38?
Short Essay Questions
1. What is Madame de Rosemonde's advice to Madame de Tourvel regarding her feelings for Valmont?
2. How does Merteuil respond to Cécile's news about Valmont's actions?
3. How does Cécile describe her feelings about Danceny to Sophie in letter 55?
4. What does Valmont vow about his seduction of Madame de Tourvel, and how does he plan to carry out his plan?
5. What causes Cécile to become worried and sad about her upcoming marriage?
6. Describe Madame de Tourvel's dictated, unaddressed letter which Madame de Volanges sends to Madame de Rosemonde.
7. How does Madame de Tourvel respond to Madame de Volanges' warning about Valmont?
8. What are the general contents of Valmont's love letters to Madame de Tourvel?
9. What does Madame de Volanges say about Valmont to warn Madame de Tourvel against becoming too friendly with him?
10. What is Merteuil's next plan for seduction? How does Valmont react?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Explore the strange, though steady, friendly relationship that Merteuil and Valmont have maintained with one another. Describe the tone that Merteuil and Valmont's letters take with each other throughout most of the novel. What do these letters say specifically about Valmont and Merteuil's relationship and their past, and what do the letters merely imply or hint at? Why does their relationship fail--is it the result of an action, an event, another person, an exterior or interior force? Examine the friction that has taken place between Merteuil and Valmont throughout the novel. How does Merteuil typically respond to Valmont's letters about Madame de Tourvel? How does Merteuil judge Valmont's feelings for Madame de Tourvel or his motivations in pursuing her? How does Valmont defend his motivations and his feelings to Merteuil, and what promise did he continually remind her of? Why would such a reminder perhaps irritate Merteuil? What is the tone and direction of their correspondence once Merteuil decided to take Danceny as a lover?
Essay Topic 2
Examine the role of servants, doctors, confessors, and others of lower social standing as they seem in the novel. Do these barely visible characters have a voice, or any agency? What portions of the plot do they fill? Are there differences in Laclos' presentation of them through their letters, or through their reported interactions with more vocal characters? What potentially political role could they have in the novel--that is, can one interpret their presence, or lack thereof, as opposed to the presence and characterization of the high-society characters, as a political statement? How do members of the upper-class treat, speak to, or refer to members of the servant and lower classes?
Essay Topic 3
Does Merteuil and Valmont's relationship through letter writing become a stand-in for having a real sexual relationship, or even being in love? What is the significance of them never meeting face-to-face within the confines of the book? Does Merteuil subtly seduce Valmont through the entire novel? What does she lead him to believe? What promise or contract between them does Valmont continually remind her of? How does their sexual tension contribute to the breaking of their relationship late in the novel? How does their relationship change throughout the course of the novel?
This section contains 3,010 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)