|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. To whom does Valmont write to ask about seeing Madame de Tourvel?
2. Why is Merteuil's maid trustworthy?
3. What is the tone of Cécile's letter to Merteuil after her encounter with Valmont?
4. What event not directly described in the novel weighs heavily on Merteuil's mind?
5. What does Valmont know Merteuil dislikes reading about?
Short Essay Questions
1. Describe Merteuil's end in the novel.
2. Describe Madame de Tourvel's dictated, unaddressed letter which Madame de Volanges sends to Madame de Rosemonde.
3. How does Merteuil respond to Cécile's news about Valmont's actions?
4. Summarize Merteuil's tale of her ruination of Prévan's.
5. What is the content and tone of Danceny's letters to Merteuil?
6. How does Danceny explain his behavior to Madame de Rosemonde?
7. How did Merteuil develop into a master manipulator?
8. Whom does Valmont enlist to help him communicate and meet with Madame de Tourvel? How does this person respond?
9. What is the reward Valmont claims from Merteuil, and how does Merteuil respond to this?
10. Describe Valmont's response to Merteuil's affair with Danceny.
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Explore the strange, though steady, friendly relationship that Merteuil and Valmont have maintained with one another. Describe the tone that Merteuil and Valmont's letters take with each other throughout most of the novel. What do these letters say specifically about Valmont and Merteuil's relationship and their past, and what do the letters merely imply or hint at? Why does their relationship fail--is it the result of an action, an event, another person, an exterior or interior force? Examine the friction that has taken place between Merteuil and Valmont throughout the novel. How does Merteuil typically respond to Valmont's letters about Madame de Tourvel? How does Merteuil judge Valmont's feelings for Madame de Tourvel or his motivations in pursuing her? How does Valmont defend his motivations and his feelings to Merteuil, and what promise did he continually remind her of? Why would such a reminder perhaps irritate Merteuil? What is the tone and direction of their correspondence once Merteuil decided to take Danceny as a lover?
Essay Topic 2
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?
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 1,309 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)