Les Liaisons Dangereuses Test | Lesson Plans 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 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?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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