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. On what issue does Cécile ask Merteuil's advice in letter 27?

2. How does Coward characterize each "chapter" in __Les Liaisons Dangereuses_?

3. What does the author of the Editor's Preface claim he has done?

4. How did Laclos' contemporary critics feel his novel would impact society?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What action does Valmont take to make Madame de Tourvel love him, and what are the results?

3. Summarize Prévan's "legendary" feat of seduction according to Valmont.

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

5. How does Merteuil respond to Valmont's warning?

6. What does the author of the Introduction say is particularly engaging about Laclos' use of the epistolary form?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the theme of innocence in the novel. How does the author describe "innocence" or "ignorance" and what connotations are attached to these words or ideas? In the novel, is innocence automatically ignorance? Who is impressionable in the novel?How do other characters take advantage of this? Which characters act innocent or ignorant in the novel? Are Madame de Volanges, Madame de Tourvel, and/or Madame de Rosemonde "innocents," in any way? What becomes of Cécile and Danceny's innocence? How are innocence and experience opposed in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Think of the form of this work is an epistolary novel. Do the letters themselves symbolize anything? Danceny writes in letter 150 that "a letter is the portrait of the soul." What does it mean to correspond with another person, and how is it carried out? How does reading an epistolary influence your experience with communication, character relationships, people, dialogue, and so on in a novel? Do the letters serve any purpose besides as a vehicle to express the plot of the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the Publisher's Note and Editor's Preface. What is their significance to the work? What messages are they each trying to get across? What is the tone of each? How do they try to influence the readers of the novel? In which ways do they define the work? Why does Laclos include them both? After reading the novel, do you read them or understand them in a different way? How do they compare to typical prefatory material in other works? Is the Publisher's Note after the last letter related in any way to Laclos' introductions?

(see the answer keys)

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