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. What are Victor and Sibyl doing at the end of Act I?

3. What does Elyot do to Amanda to calm her when she starts to panic about leaving?

4. Which factor does NOT contribute to the rekindling of Elyot and Amanda's love for each other?

5. What appears to be one of Elyot's pastimes?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Sibyl keep asking Elyot about Amanda?

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

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

4. 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?

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

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

7. What would be the best way to describe the relationship between each of the married couples?

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

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

10. In Act I, Amanda proclaims to Victor that women should hold some mystery. Later, Elyot tells her that she holds no mystery for him and she responds that she is glad. Why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Elyot claims that women are all manipulative and crafty. Do you believe that Amanda and Sibyl are particularly manipulative? If they both are manipulative, is it in the same way and to achieve the same goals? Why or why not? What is the point of the manipulations? Are Victor and Elyot manipulative as well?

Essay Topic 3

"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?

(see the answer keys)

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