M. Butterfly 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 Gallimard say about Song's performance?

2. Why did Gallimard cease to call on Song?

3. What is Song wearing when Gallimard enters her apartment?

4. What does Toulon state will not be part of Gallimard's job requirement?

5. In the stage directions, who does David Henry Hwang compare Song to in appearance?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Renee's candor about sexuality and the human anatomy differ from Galliamard's?

2. Why does Gallimard want to see Song fully naked?

3. What did Song mean when she said the fascination Caucasian men have for Oriental women is always "imperialist?"

4. How does Toulon's view of the Americans and their actions reflect France's opinion of their place in this historic time period?

5. What is Song's opinion on how managed to change Gallimard's destiny?

6. How does Marc's marriage and his treatment of women and that of Gallimard's differ?

7. What does Gallimard's experience with Isabelle reflect his sex life as a whole?

8. During Act 2, Scene 2, Song explains that although China has ruled the world in the past, it would be much more exciting to rule the contemporary world. What does this foreshadow?

9. Why does Toulon approve of Gallimard's infidelity?

10. Define the "Rape Mentality" that Song describes in the courtroom.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Each woman in Hwang's story has a distinctive role to play and her own interpretation of the feminist point of view.

1. Describe in turn the women of the play (specifically, Song, Helga, Chin, Renee). What is their role in the life of the play?

2. How does each woman express their sexuality in the play? What are their individual strengths? Their weaknesses? How do those qualities affect their relationships with other characters?

3. How do these women's personalities compare to each other? How do their lives as women differ?

Essay Topic 2

The character of Comrade Chin represents the Communist politics of China. She enforces the law and the needs of her country, which causes many of the plot elements in M. Butterfly.

1. How does Comrade Chin represent the politics of the time period? How does she represent the changing values of the country?

2. How does Chin differ from the fantasy that Song puts forth regarding the ideal woman? What does she think of Song's role in her society? What does she think of Song's tactics? How does she react to Song's opinion on women?

3. Why does Chin have Song beaten? How do Chin's actions affect the plot?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on the theme of parenthood in the play.

1. Why does Helga want to have a baby? Why does she want Gallimard to see a doctor? Why is there conflict over this?

2. Does Gallimard want to be a father? Why or why not?

3. What are Song's motives for "mothering" Gallimard's child? How does introducing a baby change the stakes for Gallimard and Song?

(see the answer keys)

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