|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 Danceny do to Merteuil, as reported by Madame de Volanges in letter 168?
2. About what does Valmont mock Merteuil in letter 158?
3. What does Valmont brag about to Merteuil at the beginning of Part IV?
4. What news does Bertrand bring to Madame de Rosemonde?
5. What does Danceny complain to Merteuil about in letter 118?
Short Essay Questions
1. What event causes Madame de Tourvel to think Valmont does not love her? How does Valmont's respond?
2. How does Merteuil respond to Cécile's news about Valmont's actions?
3. Summarize Merteuil's tale of her ruination of Prévan's.
4. What news of Valmont does Madame de Rosemonde give Madame de Tourvel, and how does Madame de Tourvel react?
5. How does Danceny explain his behavior to Madame de Rosemonde?
6. What subterfuge does Valmont suggest to Cécile in order to get Danceny's letters to her?
7. Describe Merteuil's warning to Valmont about his reputation in Paris.
8. What is Merteuil's next plan for seduction? How does Valmont react?
9. Describe Valmont's response to Merteuil's affair with Danceny.
10. What happens between Valmont and Madame de Tourvel that shocks and angers Valmont, and why does he react so strongly?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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?
Essay Topic 2
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 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 1,482 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)