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. How old is Gallimard at the point Scene 13 occurs?

2. What didn't Gallimard like about Song's second letter?

3. What does Gallimard ask Song?

4. What does Song say is undervalued in the West?

5. Who is the American consul character in Madame Butterfly?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why did Toulon send Gallimard back to France?

3. What is Gallimard's relationship with Marc?

4. What does Gallimard believe when Song says "...sometimes it is also mutual" and why does it surprise him?

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

6. Describe the character of Renee.

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

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

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

10. How has the relationship between Marc and Gallimard changed during the course of the play?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Gallimard serves as the narrator throughout the play. The fantasies and flashbacks are his. Write a characterization of Gallimard and how he fits in with the structure of the play.

1. What was Gallimard's life like growing up? How did his days as a youth help to create the man he is now?

2. Describe Gallimard's relationship with women. Is Gallimard an attractive man? How does his physical appearance reflect his place in society? How does he talk to women? What is his sex drive like?

3. Descibe Gallimard's relationship with his wife. Why did he marry her? What is his opinion of love? How does that affect his interactions with other characters and his actions in the play?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on the climactic encounter between Gallimard and Song when he asks to see her naked for the first time.

1. When Gallimard leaves the reception where he had his encounter with Toulon, what is he feeling? What is the catalyst for his emotions?

2. What are the reasons Gallimard gives for wanting to strip Song? How does she react? Why?

3. How does Song talk Gallimard out of seeing her naked? What is at stake for her?

4. How is this moment pivotal in the life of the play and the relationship between Gallimard and Song? How do his feelings for her change?

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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