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. Why doesHenry Sweet not become more prominent?

2. What is one example Shaw gives of when people might want to change their accents?

3. On what basis do some English people despise others?

4. What insulting term does Higgins use to describe Liza in Act 2?

5. What type of person does Shaw indicate is the hero of Pygmalion?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the English language need to be reformed, according to Shaw?

2. Why are shorthand methods inadequate for ordinary use?

3. How are Clara and her mother different?

4. What does Liza say about marriage in Act 4? What does her statement reveal about her morals?

5. Why is Pickering just as important to Liza's transformation as Higgins, if not more so? What is he able to teach her that Higgins could not?

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

7. Should readers and theatergoers imagine the life of Freddy and Liza with a fairytale ending? Why, or why not?

8. What does Shaw think of the quote by Nietzsche, "When you go to women, take your whip with you"?

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

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 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 examining the theme of morality in Pygmalion.

Part 1) "I'm a good girl, I am," Liza repeats in Act 2 when Higgins tempts her with chocolates, clothes, and money. Later, in Act 3, she tells Higgins, "I sold flowers. I didnt sell myself. Now youve made a lady of me I'm not fit to sell anything else." What does she mean by these statements? What do the statements reveal about Liza's morals?

Part 2) Explain the irony in Liza's statement in Act 3. What does it say about the relative morality of low-class flower girls and high-class ladies?

Part 3) What does it say about the morality of upper and lower classes in general?

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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