M. Butterfly Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is one reason Song gives for not wanting to marry Gallimard?

2. According to Chin, where does pollution begin?

3. How does Toulon feel about Gallimard's infidelity?

4. Who do the Vietnamese generals plan on assassinating?

5. What does Gallimard want Toulon to tell the Americans?

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

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 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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