The Bedroom Philosophers 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 does Dolmance characterize the poor at the end of this section?

2. What does Chevalier declare Eugenie to be in the beginning of the Fourth Dialogue?

3. In the Third Dialogue, what topic does Eugenie broach that makes Dolmance scoff and chastise her?

4. Instructing Eugenie on the precautions she must take as a wanton woman, Madame tell her to do what regularly?

5. What corporal punishment does Dolmance administer to Eugenie early in the Third Dialogue?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Madame de Saint-Ange acquainted with Eugenie?

2. How does Eugenie decide to murder her mother?

3. At the beginning of this section, what argument does Dolmance make regarding virtue?

4. What specific instructions does Sade give his readers about emulating characters in To the Libertines?

5. According to Sade in To the Philosphers, what is the key to happiness?

6. Why is sodomy, according to Dolmance, the height of libertine pleasure?

7. What hypothetical sexual inundation do Dolmance and Madame concoct in the Fourth Dialogue?

8. How does Madame de Saint-Ange recommend a married woman carry out her infidelity?

9. Describe Dolmance.

10. What arrangement does Dolmance create with Chevalier in the Fourth Dialogue?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story of The Bedroom Philosophers is, to a certain extent, the story of Eugenie's education. She enters the narrative a relative innocent and leaves it a libertine. In a three-part essay, discuss Eugenie's character arch:

Part 1) Why is Eugenie initially an innocent? Discuss her life before she arrived in Madame de Saint-Ange's boudoir. What compels her about the libertine lifestyle? How has she explored her sexuality thus far, and what does she expect from this lesson?

Part 2) Discuss the components of Dolmance's lessons that particularly shock Eugenie? Why is she reticent to let the Chevalier break her hymen? How do her perceptions of the world change as she learns more about the philosophy of libertinage?

Part 3) Discuss the type of women Eugenie has become by the end of The Bedroom Philosophers. How does she view the world and her family? What plans does she have for her life going forward? How is this different from her outlook on life at the beginning of the book?

Essay Topic 2

Much of the trajectory of The Bedroom Philosophers involves the increasingly deviant sexual endeavors of the libertines. Write a three-part essay about this trajectory, discussing the purpose of this evolution:

Part 1) Why do Dolmance, Chevalier and Madame de Saint-Ange plot the seduction of Eugenie? What lessons do they teach her in the early dialogues, and how do these sexual acts connect to the libertine lifestyle? What does Eugenie learn about this worldview? How does she react, and how does she change?

Part 2) At the end of the Fifth Dialogue, the libertines engage in increasingly deviant sexual behavior. Discuss the acts they engage in immediately after the reading of the pamphlet. How does Dolmance justify his vulgarity and extremity? What is the libertine's purpose in being especially disgusting in sexual acts?

Part 3) Discuss the meaning behind the gang-rape and torture of Madame de Mistival. How is this a culmination of the libertines lessons? How has Eugenie changed over the course of the novel? What has she renounces in the proceedings and how does her violation of her own mother serve as a compact with Dolmance's worldview?

Essay Topic 3

In an essay, discuss the role of incest in The Bedroom Philosophers. Which characters either partake or plan to partake in incestuous relationships in the text? What pleasure do the libertines glean from these relationships? Discuss Dolmance and the unnamed pamphleteer's passionate defenses of the taboo act. What is the Marquis de Sade trying to achieve by actively defending the indefensible practice?

(see the answer keys)

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