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 which country is Act I set?

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

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

4. What can Sibyl do that Amanda cannot?

5. What does the orchestra keep doing in Act 1?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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. Why does Sibyl keep asking Elyot about Amanda?

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast Sibyl's reaction to meeting Amanda and vice versa.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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