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 Song get upset about when she enters the room?

2. What is Gallimard sick of hearing about the Chinese culture?

3. At what time does Song call Gallimard?

4. What song from Madame Butterfly underscores the scene in which Gallimard is reading Song's letters?

5. What does Song promise to Gallimard after her outburst?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. Why is Song's invitation to for Gallimardto enter her apartment so serious for her?

4. Why did Song take so much care in her first appearance to Gallimard when he finds him in France?

5. Why does Gallimard want Song to say she is his Butterfly?

6. How does Song's opinion of Madame Butterfly differ from Gallimard's?

7. Why does Helga want Gallimard to visit the doctor? How do their wants differ in Act 2, Scene 5?

8. In the end, who does Gallimard cast as the role of Madame Butterfly? Why?

9. How does the Chinese opera differ from the performance Gallimard saw at the ambassador's house?

10. What is the premise for Gallimard's favorite musical, Madame Butterfly?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

During Act 1, the opera of Madame Butterfly serves as a structure to the first act.

1. How does each character reflect the part he/she plays? How are they different?

2. What is important about the story of Madame Butterfly in conjunction with the story of the play?

3. How does it foreshadow events in the play?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the play, Gallimard serves as the narrator, and although he is the guide through the play and the vessel of the story, his own conjured characters break the fourth wall to relate certain ideas or wants of their own that differ from Gallimard's. Occasionally, they break the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience.

1. Describe Hwang's structure of the play: the point of view of the story, and order of the vignettes and the "play-within-a-play" quality of Gallimard's imagination.

2. Cite examples of Hwang "breaking the fourth wall" and theorize why Hwang chose to do so.

3. How does this familiarity with the characters change the relationship to the audience. How does it differ from a script played in the third person?

4. How does the first person narrative change our relationship with Gallimard and his emotions?

Essay Topic 3

Hwang wrote M. Butterfly after hearing details on the true account of a French diplomat falling for a cross-dressing Chinese spy. However, the spectrum of ideas presented in this play are Hwang's. Write an essay summing up the larger ideas of this play.

1. What are the political themes of this play? What did Hwang hope to achieve by resenting them dramatically? Was he successful?

2. What are the gender issues associated with this story? How is the perception of the feminine/masculine a major thematic element?

3. Dramatically, what did Hwang attempt to present with this play? What are we as the audience supposed to walk away from this story feeling or wanting?

(see the answer keys)

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