|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What message does the Publisher's Foreword give?
2. What was Laclos' relationship with his own wife and children?
3. What does Danceny's letter 28 accuse Cécile of?
4. How does Valmont act toward Madame de Tourvel, as reported in letter 11?
5. What does Merteuil call the woman Valmont wishes to seduce?
Short Essay Questions
1. Describe Cécile's relationship with Merteuil.
2. How does Valmont describe Madame de Tourvel?
3. What was the general response to _Les Liaisons Dangereuses_ in the 20th century?
4. How does Merteuil respond to Valmont's warning?
5. What does Merteuil assert is the reason women become "victims" of seduction?
6. What are Merteuil and Valmont's plans for Danceny and Cécile at the beginning of Part II?
7. What does the author of the Introduction say is particularly engaging about Laclos' use of the epistolary form?
8. What does the author of the Introduction say about potential political messages of social commentary in Laclos' novel?
9. How does the Publisher's Foreword introduce the novel?
10. What serious warning does Valmont give Merteuil?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Examine the kinds of loss in the novel. Explain their significance to the plot, to the development of specific characters, to any theme development, and any symbolism in them. Some types of loss in the novel include: loss of love, trust, innocence, virginity, hope, virtue, friendship; loss of life (as in death or miscarriage); loss of future (marriages, happiness, success, livelihood); loss of self-identity and control over one's own life.
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?
This section contains 1,033 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)