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 the stage directions, who does David Henry Hwang compare Song to in appearance?

2. What does Song get upset about when she enters the room?

3. How long did it take before Gallimard went to see Song perform at the opera house?

4. How large is Gallimard's cell?

5. What is the job that Gallimard is promoted to?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does the character of Comrade Chin view Song's actions for the government?

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

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

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

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

9. Why was Song beaten? What were Chin's choices for further punishment for Song?

10. What does Song say she wants to do by the end of her encounter with Chin in Act 2, Scene 9? Is this her own choice?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on the theme of parenthood in the play.

1. Why does Helga want to have a baby? Why does she want Gallimard to see a doctor? Why is there conflict over this?

2. Does Gallimard want to be a father? Why or why not?

3. What are Song's motives for "mothering" Gallimard's child? How does introducing a baby change the stakes for Gallimard and Song?

Essay Topic 2

Nearing the end of Act 2, Helga and Gallimard have an altercation involving the changing face of the country. Gallimard seems unable to find happiness in his life in France, and Helga seems lost as well, unable to understand the political upheaval that has followed them from the Eastern world.

1. How was life different for Gallimard and Helga during their time in China? How has France changed in the time they were away? How are the two countries similar?

2. How does Gallimard react to Helga's opinion of their two homes? What does Gallimard want that Helga cannot provide?

3. How does this interaction reflect the larger picture of international changes?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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