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. How do Amanda and Elyot realize that they are sharing a terrace in the hotel?

2. What do both Amanda and Elyot express a mild appreciation for, to the shock of their spouses?

3. Where do Elyot and Sibyl plan to eat dinner?

4. What does Elyot believe is the cruelest thing he and Amanda could do?

5. When Elyot is trying to convince Sibyl of premonition of disaster, what does he say will possibly happen?

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. 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?

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

4. 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?

5. How does Elyot know that Amanda's statement of the two of them being in love all over again is false?

6. What is the significance of "Solomon Isaacs?"

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. 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?

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

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'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?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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