|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. How long has Valmont spent seducing Madame de Tourvel?
2. What has been the effect of Madame de Tourvel's separation from Valmont?
3. What does Madame de Tourvel confess to Madame de Rosemonde?
4. Why does Gercourt wish to delay his and Cécile's marriage?
5. In letter 83, how does Valmont try to convince Madame de Tourvel to love him?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 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
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?
This section contains 2,307 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)