Les Liaisons Dangereuses Test | Lesson Plans Final Test - Hard

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What action does Valmont propose to Cécile to facilitate their secret correspondence?

2. What has been the effect of Madame de Tourvel's separation from Valmont?

3. What is the reason for Valmont's seduction of Madame de Tourvel, according to what Valmont tells Merteuil in letter 133?

4. How does Cécile respond to Merteuil's advice about her relationship with Valmont?

5. What does Cécile assert to Danceny after his letter reveals his suspicions?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Examine the ending of the novel and the various fates assigned to each character. Does the ending and Madame de Volanges' final message fulfill the "requirements" of a moral novel? Could the endings of, arguably, the two most important characters (Valmont's death and Merteuil's disgrace) be considered "Deus ex machinas?" Why or why not? Do you find any symbolism in each character's fate? Where do ideas of morality and justice emerge from the ending of the novel? Does the ending resolve anything, leave any issues ambiguous, or become undercut by the vastness of the immorality in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Examine the uses of irony throughout the novel. Your discussion may include: instances of satire, for instance of contemporary literary works or public figures; anything from the sarcastic tone often taken by Merteuil and Valmont in their letters to each other; the many instances of figurative language in the text such as puns and double entendres; the instances of certain characters' hypocrisy or denial; or the dramatic irony through which the reader or character knows something that another character does not. How does Laclos achieve irony? What language, tone, and style of writing indicate irony in the text? How do certain situations where characters find themselves tend toward the ironic?

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.

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