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. In what building does Act I take place?

2. Where do Amanda and Victor plan to eat dinner?

3. According to Amanda, what rules her life?

4. Which character says "I like a man to be a man?"

5. What is heard off-stage when the play starts?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. After Amanda and Elyot make up during the "triple Sollocks," what happens that brings their happy mood down again and why?

3. How does Sybil insult Amanda?

4. What does Elyot say that halts the fight with Victor before it begins? Why does this work?

5. What are Amanda's beliefs?

6. Given Sibyl's opinions in Act I of whether Elyot or Amanda were more at fault for the failed marriage, why is it ironic that she says in Act III, "I'd no idea anyone ever behaved like that; it's so disgusting, so degrading, Elli of all people?"

7. What is Victor's opinion of Sybil? Is it surprising? Why?

8. What are Victor and Sibyl's attitudes on the subject of their spouses' previous marriage?

9. Throughout Act III, Elyot and Amanda both proclaim their hate for each other. However, they are clearly back in love at the end of the act. Did they ever really hate each other? Why or why not?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the world of this play, does it seem that love cannot exist without violence? How do violence and passion relate to each other or do they at all? Cite specific examples from the script to support your argument.

Essay Topic 2

The four main characters of this play are all from England, though the play itself is set in France. What is the purpose of setting the play in two different locations in France? Would it have changed the play to be set in a different country, including the one native to the characters?

Essay Topic 3

Consider the character of Louise. Why is she included in the play? What is the purpose of Sibyl and Victor not being able to understand her foreign language? What does she add to the overall arch of the play?

(see the answer keys)

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