Pygmalion 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 Higgins say when he finds that Liza is not married?

2. How is Henry Higgins described?

3. Why does Liza become upset with Higgins?

4. What happened to Liza's parents?

5. What city is the setting of Shaw's play?

Short Essay Questions

1. What makes some English people despise others? What can we infer would solve this problem?

2. What are three methods of phonetic shorthand that Shaw mentions in Pygmalion, and what are they used for?

3. What does Liza likely mean when she says "I'm a good girl, I am"? Why does she say this?

4. How does Higgins feel about women?

5. Why does the Flower Girl become upset at the note-taker? What is she most likely afraid of?

6. What does the Flower Girl do at the end of Act 1 that shows she has a sense of pride and dignity about her?

7. Describe the Flower Girl.

8. Why does Liza become upset when Mrs. Pearce takes her up for a bath? What does this incident show about Liza?

9. What does Freddy do at the beginning of Act 1 that shows poor manners?

10. What should all great art be, according to Shaw? Do you agree? What does Shaw hope his play will teach?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay examining the theme of manners in Pygmalion.

Part 1) Evaluate Higgins's statement from Act 5, "The secret is not having good manners or bad manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another." What does he mean by this? Do you agree with him?

Part 2) Do you think Shaw agrees with him on the subject of manners? For instance, is there something honest about the rude way Higgins behaves, and something hypocritical about the "polite" manners of other people in the play?

Part 3) Which characters in the play behave the same to everyone, and which characters treat people differently depending on the class they belong to? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about feminism in Pygmalion. In the Epilogue to his play, Shaw quotes Nietzsche in saying, "When you go to women, take your whip with you." Does Shaw agree or disagree with this statement? Is he a sexist or a feminist, in your opinion? Explain, using evidence from the play. Consider in your essay his characterization of Liza, Clara, Mrs. Higgins, and Mrs. Pearce.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the characters of Freddy and Higgins.

Part 1) How are Freddy and Higgins similar and different? Consider all of the following:

--their social class and wealth

--their personalities

--their skills and abilities

--their attitudes toward Liza

Part 2) Why is Higgins not a suitable husband for Liza, while Freddy is? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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