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. In Scene 1, in what city is Gallimard residing?

2. What did Gallimard replace with practicality?

3. Who plays the character of Suzuki in Gallimard's dream?

4. In Madame Butterfly, how old is Butterfly?

5. What character does Marc appear as in Act 1, Scene 11?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Song say that Peepee will never live in the West?

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

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

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

5. How has Helga's opinion on China changed when she and Gallimard return to France?

6. Why does Song consider Gallimard her greatest acting challenge?

7. How does Gallimard's character change at the end of Scene 10?

8. How is the character of Isabelle important?

9. Why is Gallimard's experiment with Song considered a success when she claims that she has given him her shame?

10. In the plot of the opera Madame Butterfly, what is the relationship between Pinkerton and Sharpless? How does that story relate to Gallimard?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

There is a distinct relationship that is established between Song and Gallimard that relates to the stereotypical relationship between the East ("the Orient") and the West.

1. Gallimard's view of his relationship can be translated as give and take. What is it that Gallimard offers to Song in their relationship? What does she give him in exchange?

2. How does the relationship between Gallimard and his Butterfly reflect the relationship between the East and West?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

At the conclusion of Act 2, Song asks the audience to take a break while he makes his physical change from woman to man. He fully removes his makeup, wig and kimono to change into his male ensemble. Song's transformation is not limited to the physical. Even though we as an audience knew Song was a man for several scenes, the full reveal has dramatic implications.

1. Describe in detail the transformation Song makes physically, emotionally and characteristically. How does he talk to people differently? How does he treat Gallimard in Act 3 as opposed to Acts 1 and 2?

2. What is the symbolism of taking an intermission to watch song take off his makeup and change?

3. Why do you believe Hwang chose this moment in the play to fully reveal Song as a man? How would the play have changed if we had seen him as a man earlier? What would be the dramatic implications of withholding the knowledge of Song's true sex until this moment?

(see the answer keys)

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