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. Which of the following first interests Higgins about Liza?

2. Which of the following best describes Higgins's profession?

3. According to Shaw, what can people do to get rid of their low-class accents?

4. Which comment does Shaw make about the realism in his play?

5. What is the strange man (Higgins) doing behind the pillar?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Higgins feel about women?

3. Why, according to Shaw, is it important that people be trained scientifically to lose their accents, rather than simply learning by imitation?

4. Why does Liza's father come to see Higgins?

5. What bet does Pickering make with Higgins? Why does Higgins accept?

6. How are Clara and her mother different?

7. Describe Henry Sweet.

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

9. Describe Higgins's laboratory. What does it reveal about his character?

10. What does Higgins do for the Flower Girl? What prompts him to do so? What does this act suggest about Higgins?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the ending of Pygmalion.

Part 1) Considering the ending of the play, what do you think Shaw's attitude is toward the traditional "happy ending" of most romances?

Part 2) Why, according to Shaw, does his play not end the way most people might expect?

Part 3) Would the play be more satisfying if Liza had married Higgins instead of Freddy? Why, or why not?

Part 4) (optional) If you have seen it, you may consider the slightly different, more "Hollywood" ending in the movie version of the play, My Fair Lady. Compare the ending of the play with the ending of the movie. Which do you prefer, and why?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the character of Clara and her transformation in the play.

Part 1) How does Clara change in the course of the play, and why?

Part 2) How does Shaw satirize various foibles of society through Clara (for instance, snobbery and fads among young people)?

Part 3) How are we meant to view Clara? Is she a sympathetic figure, a ridiculous figure, or some mixture of both?

Essay Topic 3

In the Preface to Pygmalion, Shaw says that all great art should be didactic; that is, it should teach something. What does Shaw hope his play will teach people--both about language and about how reforming it might help society? Do you think the play is successful at communicating the intended message? Write an essay about this topic, using quotations from the Preface as well as from the rest of the play.

(see the answer keys)

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