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. Why must Cécile's marriage be postponed?

2. What does Cécile think are pretty much the same thing?

3. Who notified Madame de Volanges of Cécile and Danceny's romance?

4. How does Danceny give his first note to Cécile?

5. Why does Valmont think it possible to seduce this woman?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Merteuil assert is the reason women become "victims" of seduction?

2. What are the general contents of Valmont's love letters to Madame de Tourvel?

3. What concession does Madame de Tourvel give Valmont, and what are the results?

4. How does Madame de Tourvel respond to Valmont's first love letter?

5. Describe Cécile's relationship with Merteuil.

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

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

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

9. Who is Merteuil's "knight," and what does she think of him?

10. How does Cécile feel about Danceny's first letter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the role that religion, church, and the clergy have in the novel. How does each character treat, refer to, or interact with religion, faith and morality? Explain the reasoning behind the following categorizations of the main characters, based upon the characters' views on, or influence from, religion: Merteuil and Valmont; Madames de Rosemonde, de Volanges, and de Tourvel; Cécile and Danceny.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze the changes in Cecile's character throughout the novel. What characteristics define her in the beginning, middle, and end of the story? Closely analyze Cécile's letters to Sophie, looking for language and phrasing which indicates how she feels about her relationships with others. This includes her thoughts on marriage, her relationship with her mother, her feelings for Danceny, and her friendship with Merteuil. How does her language and her style of writing help define Cécile's character? Why does she stop writing to Sophie? Why is Cécile's voice almost completely absent through the last portions of the novel? What does this conspicuous absence say about her identity, or lack thereof? What control, if any, does Cécile retain over her own life? How does she use this control, or how do others (specifically Valmont) control her?

(see the answer keys)

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