|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What is Madame de Tourvel's reaction upon being left alone in her room with Valmont?
2. What is Madame de Tourvel's mindset in letter 161?
3. What does Valmont teach Cécile when they are alone together?
4. What is the ultimatum Valmont offers Merteuil?
5. How does Merteuil decide that Prévan is attempting to seduce her?
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 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 3
Consider the theme of women's sexuality in _Les Liaisons Dangereuses_. How is desire, in particular, expressed in the female characters? How do Cécile's, Merteuil's, and Madame de Tourvel's different experiences with sex, rape, seduction, courtship, initiation, and betrayal affect their character development, their roles in the plot of the novel, and their interactions with other male and female characters? What connections to contemporary French ideas of morality and gender roles do the sexuality of the female characters have? How is feminine sexual awareness or sexual activity opposed to masculine sexual awareness or sexual activity? How do other characters, or contemporary French high society, view women who are sexually experienced? Can you apply modern feminist critical theory to this discussion?
This section contains 2,329 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)