|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 Madame de Rosemonde warn Madame de Tourvel about in letter 126?
2. What is the tone of Cécile's letter to Merteuil after her encounter with Valmont?
3. What does Merteuil advise Cécile to do after being raped by Valmont?
4. Valmont asserts that a girl who has no respect for her mother will what?
5. What does Madame de Tourvel reveal to Valmont in letter 90?
Short Essay Questions
1. How does Madame de Volanges respond to Cécile's depression?
2. What does Valmont vow about his seduction of Madame de Tourvel, and how does he plan to carry out his plan?
3. Describe how Madame de Tourvel changes after being abandoned by Valmont.
4. What is Merteuil's next plan for seduction? How does Valmont react?
5. What arguments does Valmont use to convince Madame de Tourvel to see him?
6. What is Madame de Rosemonde's advice to Madame de Tourvel regarding her feelings for Valmont?
7. What subterfuge does Valmont suggest to Cécile in order to get Danceny's letters to her?
8. Summarize Merteuil's tale of her ruination of Prévan's.
9. How does Valmont thwart Merteuil with regards to Danceny?
10. What is the content and tone of Danceny's letters to Merteuil?
Write an essay for ONE of the following 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
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
Define "pornography" and "erotica." How are they alike and/or different? Is there a central issue which divides the two, or are they essentially the same thing? What is their purpose and meaning or implication in popular culture, both to the private person and to society at large? Does _Les Liasons Dangereuses_ count as erotica or pornography, or both, or neither? Why? How do you describe Valmont's and Merteuil's sexual exploits as revealed in letters 10, 47, 71, and 79? Do these letters offer detail about feelings, desires, sexual acts, and body parts in lurid detail, or does the text dance around the issues by only alluding to them and making puns and double entendres? What about these letters might shock or offend a moral or virtuous reader, either in the 18th century or today? What could be the reasons that Valmont and Merteuil enjoy writing such letters to one another? Can writing be erotic without actually referring directly to sexual acts, to the human body, or to specific desires? For example, close-read letter 48, in which Valmont describes to Madame de Tourvel his passion for her, but the letter plays a joke on her by referring to Valmont's night of sex with Émilie in letter 47.
This section contains 1,365 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)