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. What does Amanda tell Victor about Elyot's presence?

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

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

4. What is Victor's nickname for his new wife?

5. To whom does this statement refer? "I can't bear to think I'm married to such rugged grandeur."

Short Essay Questions

1. Throughout most of the play, Sibyl comes across as a very flighty, overly feminine woman who only wishes to be a normal, quiet wife. At any point in the play, does she become anything more than a stereotype? If so, what happens and why?

2. How is Amanda's behavior at the top of Act III?

3. During the breakfast with both couples, what does Elyot say that sparks the fight between Victor and Sybil?

4. How does Sybil insult Amanda?

5. Why does Elyot say that, despite their current happiness, being separated was probably for the best?

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

7. Why are Amanda and Elyot reluctant to discuss another marriage?

8. Throughout Act III, Elyot and Amanda both proclaim their hate for each other. However, they are clearly back in love at the end of the act. Did they ever really hate each other? Why or why not?

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

10. 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?

Essay 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 appear to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of love and hate. Is this tragic, comedic, or both? Why? Is it within the grasp of their character to be able to escape? Do you believe they want to escape? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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