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 is Liza's father's profession?

2. Why does Liza become upset with Higgins?

3. What is Higgins the author of?

4. What does Higgins say about women?

5. What does the Flower Girl call the Gentleman?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe Higgins.

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

7. Describe the Flower Girl.

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

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

10. 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?

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 in which you examine the negative consequences of having money and social status in Pygmalion. Liza's father, Alfred Doolittle, is poor but does not wish to have money. Why? When he comes into money, why does he blame Higgins for delivering him into the hands of middle-class morality? Does he make a good point? What are some of the drawbacks to having money? What are the restrictions of being in a particular social class?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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