|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What does Danceny resolve to do at the end of the novel?
2. What is Madame de Tourvel's reaction upon being left alone in her room with Valmont?
3. About what does Valmont mock Merteuil in letter 158?
4. What does Cécile assert to Danceny after his letter reveals his suspicions?
5. What does Madame de Rosemonde offer Madame de Tourvel in her return letter?
Short Essay Questions
1. What happens between Valmont and Madame de Tourvel that shocks and angers Valmont, and why does he react so strongly?
2. What is the content and tone of Danceny's letters to Merteuil?
3. Describe Merteuil's warning to Valmont about his reputation in Paris.
4. How does Valmont manipulate Cécile and Danceny's relationship?
5. What is the general content of the letter Azolan, Valmont's valet, writes to Valmont?
6. What does Valmont vow about his seduction of Madame de Tourvel, and how does he plan to carry out his plan?
7. What event causes Madame de Tourvel to think Valmont does not love her? How does Valmont's respond?
8. How does Madame de Volanges respond to Cécile's depression?
9. How did Merteuil develop into a master manipulator?
10. Describe what Valmont does when he gets the key to Cécile's room.
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 2
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 3
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?
This section contains 1,253 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)