Private Lives Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Elyot tell Amanda before he tries to leave the terrace?

2. To what does Amanda say, "What an odd thing to be glad about?"

3. What time is it, specifically, at the top of Act I?

4. What is Victor's nickname for his new wife?

5. How long have Amanda and Elyot been divorced at the start of the play?

Short Essay Questions

1. Victor and Sibyl both use nicknames for Amanda and Elyot (Mandy and Elli), though Amanda and Elyot always refer to each other by their full names. What is the significance of the use of nicknames in regards to these four characters?

2. What is Amanda's outlook on the violence in her previous marriage that is so shocking to Victor?

3. Elyot remarks to Sibyl that, "Apart from loving me and all that, you must have plans." What does he mean by that and why would he accuse Sibyl of it?

4. Why do Elyot and Amanda both lie to their spouses about the reasons they should leave the hotel instead of just telling the truth?

5. To Sibyl's dismay, Elyot does not care for her mother and believes that Sibyl married him in part to escape her. What do the differing attitudes about the mother reveal about Sibyl's character?

6. How can the reader interpret Amanda's statement about a person's private life?

7. Amanda describes her marriage to Elyot as, "two violent acids bubbling about in a nasty little matrimonial bottle." Why would she use those words and what images do they provoke?

8. What does Elyot's pastime of traveling the world imply about his character?

9. When discussing the possibility of getting a sunburn, Amanda remarks to Victor, "I did so hope our honeymoon was going to be progressive" in response to his declaration that he could not love her anymore than he already does. What does this statement portend about Amanda's views on relationships, particularly her marriage to Victor?

10. Why does Sibyl keep asking Elyot about Amanda?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast Sibyl's reaction to meeting Amanda and vice versa.

Essay Topic 2

"Private Lives" is known for sharp, witty dialogue. What role does the dialogue play in this story? How does it add to the plot, humor, and character development?

Essay Topic 3

Amanda's speech about a person's private life sums up one of the themes of the play. What would happen if Amanda and Elyot behaved with everyone else as they do with each other? Would they be as successful in life as they appear to be? Would anyone have wanted to marry either of them again? Do you believe this? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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