Les Liaisons Dangereuses Test | Lesson Plans Final Test - Hard

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What action does Valmont propose to Cécile to facilitate their secret correspondence?

2. What has been the effect of Madame de Tourvel's separation from Valmont?

3. What is the reason for Valmont's seduction of Madame de Tourvel, according to what Valmont tells Merteuil in letter 133?

4. How does Cécile respond to Merteuil's advice about her relationship with Valmont?

5. What does Cécile assert to Danceny after his letter reveals his suspicions?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Does Merteuil and Valmont's relationship through letter writing become a stand-in for having a real sexual relationship, or even being in love? What is the significance of them never meeting face-to-face within the confines of the book? Does Merteuil subtly seduce Valmont through the entire novel? What does she lead him to believe? What promise or contract between them does Valmont continually remind her of? How does their sexual tension contribute to the breaking of their relationship late in the novel? How does their relationship change throughout the course of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the theme of nature and artifice, especially with reference to Cécile, Danceny, Merteuil, and Valmont. What are the natural personalities, interests, motivations, and moralities of these characters? How do they consciously or unconsciously change themselves to show their own or others' various desires? Are nature and artifice associated with any kind of moral message in the novel? How does Merteuil's letter 81, in which she offers the story of her youth and her sexual education, complicate the distinctions between nature and artifice? When do Cécile and Danceny exhibit artificial behavior? How are nature and artifice made ambiguous in Valmont's seduction of Madame de Tourvel?

Essay Topic 3

Examine the uses of irony throughout the novel. Your discussion may include: instances of satire, for instance of contemporary literary works or public figures; anything from the sarcastic tone often taken by Merteuil and Valmont in their letters to each other; the many instances of figurative language in the text such as puns and double entendres; the instances of certain characters' hypocrisy or denial; or the dramatic irony through which the reader or character knows something that another character does not. How does Laclos achieve irony? What language, tone, and style of writing indicate irony in the text? How do certain situations where characters find themselves tend toward the ironic?

(see the answer keys)

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