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. Which character says, "Love is no use unless it's wise, and kind, and undramatic?"

2. What does Sibyl dislike?

3. Why do Amanda and Elyot choose to flee to Amanda's flat?

4. What does Amanda say they must do before they leave for Paris?

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

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

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

5. 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?

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

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

8. 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?

9. Why does Sibyl keep asking Elyot about Amanda?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Elyot believes that he and Amanda could have had happy, albeit boring, lives with Victor and Sibyl. What examples from the text point to him being right or wrong?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Could there be any social repercussions from having domestic violence shown in an amusing light? What would happen if Elyot slapping Amanda did not lead to humorous results? How is a woman being slapped funny in this context? If you do not find it funny, then what would realistically happen if Amanda and Elyot were to really fight that way? Is it ever alright to use this for comedy? You may cite examples from other movies, plays, or books to support your answer, but make sure to use it alongside the text of the play.

(see the answer keys)

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