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. In letter 52, what does Valmont accuse Madame de Tourvel of slandering?

2. As of letter 44, what has Madame de Tourvel done with Valmont's letters?

3. What was the beginning of Laclos' military career like?

4. How does Madame de Tourvel react when Valmont professes his love?

5. What does Merteuil tell Cécile when they attend the opera together?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the general response to _Les Liaisons Dangereuses_ in the 20th century?

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

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

4. What does the Editor state in the Editor's Preface?

5. What were Laclos' general views on politics and gender relations?

6. Describe Cécile de Volanges.

7. What does Merteuil suggest, in different forms, to Cécile and Valmont?

8. How does Cécile describe her feelings about Danceny to Sophie in letter 55?

9. Describe Cécile's relationship with Merteuil.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 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.

(see the answer keys)

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