Les Liaisons Dangereuses Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
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Mid-Book Test - Hard

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 Topics

Essay Topic 1

Analyze Merteuil's relationship with Cécile. What does the older woman do to influence the younger woman? How does Merteuil define Cécile? What are Merteuil's motivations in making Cécile her "protégé?" How does Merteuil manipulate and control Cécile's life and her personal character in ways both visible and invisible to Cécile, to her mother, and to Danceny? Use evidence from Cécile's letters to and about Merteuil, and Merteuil's letters to and about Cécile, to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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