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 is the code-phrase that Amanda and Elyot decide to use to stop all arguments?

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

3. When Sibyl and Victor leave, what do Amanda and Elyot do with the cocktails?

4. Before Sibyl storms off the terrace in Act 1, what does Elyot tell her?

5. What separates the two terraces in the first scene?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Elyot mean when he claims that he and Amanda were too in love for their relationship to last?

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

3. Why do Amanda and Elyot choose Paris to run away to?

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

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

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

9. At the start of the play, is Elyot in love with Sibyl? How can the reader tell?

10. Why would Victor say to Amanda that she was frightening him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Amanda and Elyot speak about how they used to slap each other around, culminating in a knock-down, drag-out fight at the end of Act II. What is the point of the physical violence in this play? Could the play have existed without the final fight at the end of Act II? What does it show about the characters?

Essay Topic 2

Elyot tells Victor that there is no point in fighting each other, as it never solves anything. However, Elyot and Amanda had, just the night before, fought each other violently. Why does Elyot believe that fighting Victor is pointless, but still fights with Amanda? For example, is it a matter of respect, love, or cowardice? Cite specific examples from the text to support your argument.

Essay Topic 3

Amanda declares to Victor that, "Chance rules my life." What does she mean by that? What does she do throughout the play that requires taking a chance? Using specific examples and actions from the text, argue whether Amanda really means what she says and, if so, how chance plays a part in the plot and her character development.

(see the answer keys)

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