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. At the end of the Third Dialogue, what two subjects does Dolmance discuss as being of particular joy to a libertine?

2. According to Dolmance, what does God have no reason to do?

3. What does Madame's elderly husband force her to consume?

4. Who does Eugenie admit she wants to kill at the beginning of this section?

5. According to Dolmance, Christianity is just a newer form of what?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Dolmance's attitudes toward the poor.

3. What does Dolmance think about parental control of children?

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

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

6. Describe Madame de Saint-Ange's husband.

7. What skill do women have for cruelty, according to Dolmance at the end of the Third Dialogue?

8. What argument does Dolmance make about deceit in this section?

9. What sexual acts are covered in this section of the book?

10. Describe the argument that Dolmance and Chevalier have in the Fourth Dialogue?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sodomy plays an incredible role in the libertine philosophy of Dolmance. He expounds upon its pure, unadorned pleasure. Write a three-part essay about the libertine ideal as expressed through the act of sodomy:

Part 1) What reasons does Dolmance explain through the book that society has for frowning upon anal intercourse? Why is it considered unnatural and dirty? To what extend is the substance of semen made sacred through these arguments?

Part 2) Discuss the various ways in which Dolmance rebuke the arguments against sodomy. How does he connect the notion of nature to justify the value of sodomy? Aesthetically, why does Dolmance think that the anus is more perfect than the vagina?

Part 3) Discuss how Dolmance applies his beliefs about sodomy in his everyday life. What does he abstain from? What does he lecture and practice on a regular basis?

Essay Topic 2

There are many characters - both present and referenced - that could be construed as surrogates for the author in The Bedroom Philosophers. Write an essay about three of them: Dolmance, Madame de Saint-Ange and the unnamed author of the pamphlet. What component of Sade's worldview does each represent, and how is this viewpoint presented? Is it enacted in the action or simply discussed at length?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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