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 best describes Higgins's profession?

2. What does Liza want to do after her bath?

3. What is Freddy looking for at the beginning of Act 1?

4. Of what does Mrs. Pearce warn Higgins?

5. What does Higgins tempt Liza with just as she is about to leave?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the Flower Girl.

3. What does Higgins think of the Flower Girl's accent? What humorous hyperbole does he use in speaking to her?

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

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

6. Who are Alexander Melville Bell, Alexander J. Ellis, Tito Pagliardini, and Henry Sweet, and why are they heroes to Shaw?

7. Who is the Gentleman in the first act, and what do he and the note-taker have in common?

8. Why are shorthand methods inadequate for ordinary use?

9. What would, in Shaw's opinion, be a prodigious advancement in the English language? Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay examining the attitudes toward love and marriage in the play.

Part 1) How does Shaw satirize, or make fun of, conventional attitudes toward love and marriage, for instance, through Higgins and Doolittle?

Part 2) What, according to Shaw in his Epilogue, is the balance of power men and women seek in marriage? What is an ideal marriage like?

Part 3) Why do some men never marry?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the theme of language in Pygmalion. At the end of the play, Alfred Doolittle says that he expects now he's going to have to learn to speak middle-class English instead of the "proper English" he normally uses. What is ironic about his statement? Is there really one "proper" way to speak English, in your opinion? What do you think Shaw's opinion is? If everyone speaks Doolittle's low-class English, would it be just as well as if everyone speaks like duchesses?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay examining the message about classism in the play.

Part 1) What does the play Pygmalion suggest about the relationships between the classes in England at the time of its writting (1916)?

Part 2) Which social classes are represented in the play, and how are they depicted?

Part 3) What makes Neppomuck, the ambassador, and others believe that Liza must be a princess, and what does that say about the artificiality of class distinctions?

Part 4) Who, according to the play, is a real lady, and who is a real gentleman? What makes a person a lady or a gentleman?

Part 5) What do you think Shaw ultimately wants to say about class divisions in society?

(see the answer keys)

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