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. Who is in Higgins's laboratory with Higgins at the beginning of Act 2?

3. What does Higgins give Liza in Act 2 when she begins to cry?

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

5. Who is Robert Bridges and what does he have in common with Higgins?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the Flower Girl.

3. Describe Higgins.

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

5. Describe Henry Sweet.

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

7. Why are shorthand methods inadequate for ordinary use?

8. What does Higgins's housekeeper, Mrs. Pearce, think about the plan? Who seems to have a more sensible view of the situation, Higgins or Mrs. Pearce?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

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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