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 does Song say she wants to do now that her life as an actor is over?

2. Finish the sentence: "We must conserve our strength for the battles..."

3. According to Gallimard, how many American dollars were spent for every Viet Cong killed?

4. Who does Comrade Chin report to?

5. In what year does Scene 10 take place?

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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