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 say she has never done before?

2. In what year does Scene 4 take place?

3. What did Gallimard believe Song was doing before they part ways at the end of Scene 8?

4. What event is going on in Scene 12?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. In the opera, how does the character of Butterfly look on Pinkerton?

2. How do Gallimard and his wife agree in regards to their opinion of the Chinese people?

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

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

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

6. How does Gallimard look at his marriage? Who did he marry? What did he marry for?

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

8. How do the actions within the play prove Song's theory that all a man wants from a woman is to submit, and that will result in him recanting his demands?

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

10. At the end of the opera, Butterfly states that "Death with honor/Is better than life/Life with dishonor." What does she mean and why does she say it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Song is on the witness stand, he describes his situation with Gallimard in great detail. One major point he has relates to the masculine/feminine characterization of the West and East and the "Rape mentality" the former has for the latter.

1. How does Song define "Rape mentality?"

2. How does this mindset relate to Song's opinion of international relations? How do those relations compare to Song's opinions of men and women from those countries?

3. How do all of these factors culminate in Song's relationship with Gallimard?

4. Do you agree with Song? Do you believe Gallimard's intentions reflect Songs opinion on their relationship?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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