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. Who does Valmont trick to spend time with the Vicomtesse de M?

2. What does Merteuil do to get herself in the mood for sex with her lover?

3. What is the first action Valmont takes to make Madame de Tourvel look favorably upon him?

4. Who wrote the Publisher's Foreword to _Les Liasons Dangerueses_?

5. What does Madame de Tourvel offer Valmont?

Short Essay Questions

1. What event causes Cécile and Danceny to despair? What are the immediate results?

2. Describe Cécile's relationship with Merteuil.

3. How does the Publisher's Foreword introduce the novel?

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

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

6. How does Madame de Tourvel respond to Madame de Volanges' warning about Valmont?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the different writing styles of various main characters: Cécile, Danceny, Valmont, Merteuil, Madame de Tourvel, Madame de Rosemonde, and Madame de Volanges. Are any character's style or styles of writing distinct in any way? What type of language, or what tone, is most associated with each character? To what subjects do these characters refer in their letters? How do their styles of writing contribute to the development of their characters? How do their different styles of writing contribute to the "theatricality" of the novel, to its pace, and to the audience's perception of the work?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Examine the aspect of Valmont's character that has to do with his feelings for Madame de Tourvel and his feelings for Merteuil. What does he profess to feel for them both, and what does it seem that he actually feels? How does he use language and tone to express these feelings to them and about them? What do his actions around each woman, or having to do with each woman, say about his real feelings for them? Discuss this aspect of Valmont's character as a function of the tension between public and private morality and persona.

(see the answer keys)

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