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. In this section, which historical figure does Madame de Saint-Ange use as an example of lasciviousness?

2. What activity does Madame advocate for at length in this section?

3. Near the end of this section, Dolmance discusses his libertine friends seducing who?

4. What term does the Marquis de Sade use to refer to his readers in the beginning of his Introduction?

5. What is the value of starvation, according to Dolmance in the Third Dialogue?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Dolmance's defense of incest.

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

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

5. How is the the sexual passage of this section typical of the writing of The Bedroom Philosophers?

6. How does Eugenie decide to murder her mother?

7. What theory regarding large penises does Dolmance posit in the Fourth Dialogue?

8. How does Dolmance decry religion in this section?

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

10. Describe Dolmance.

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

Madame de Saint-Ange is the ideal of feminine libertinage in Sade's work. Her lessons in the book concern the way a woman must adapt to live a life of wanton pleasure. In a two-part essay, discuss Madame de Saint-Ange's views:

Part 1) What is the importance of marriage in the life of a woman libertine? What precautions must the woman take to ensure her husband is not aware of his activities? How does being married offer new opportunities to a libertine woman? Discuss the details of Madame de Saint-Ange's marriage.

Part 2) What role does the childbirth play in the role of a libertine? How does Madame de Saint-Ange explain a woman should take precautions? What experience has she had with childbirth?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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