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 is an important fact that Toulon wants Gallimard to know about their jobs at the embassy?

2. How does Gallimard describe his meetings with Song after her weekly performances?

3. Why did Isabelle have sex with Gallimard?

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

5. By what other name does Pinkerton's wife go?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Gallimard feel about having a baby with Song? How does he feel when he sees the baby for the first time?

2. What does Gallimard mean when he says he has become a celebrity?

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

4. How does Song seem to feel when compared to Western women? How does this relate to her own education and upbringing?

5. 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?

6. What is the nature of Gallimard's experiment with Song? Why does he decide to treat her in this fashion?

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

8. Why does Song speak in Italian at the end of Act 1?

9. Why did Toulon send Gallimard back to France?

10. What is the difference of Toulon living "in China," and Gallimard living "with the Chinese?"

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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