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 Act I, where do the honeymooning couples plan to spend their first night together?

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

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

4. To where do Elyot and Amanda plan to run away?

5. What does Amanda tell Victor she did to Elyot while they were married?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

4. 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?

5. When Elyot implores Sibyl that they must leave the hotel, Sibyl is uncharacteristically firm and stubborn about staying. What happened throughout the act that may have given her more of a backbone?

6. 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?

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Is it important that these characters are rich and upper-class? How would this play have changed if Amanda and Elyot were not as rich as they are written? Is the glamor and sophistication absolutely necessary? How does it affect the fights? Do you believe that this is meant to be a statement on the behaviors of the upper-class? Why or why not?

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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