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 bet does Higgins make with Pickering?

2. How does Higgins make his money?

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

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

5. What does Higgins think of the way the Flower Girl speaks?

Short Essay Questions

1. How are Clara and her mother different?

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

3. How does Higgins feel about women?

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

5. What does the Flower Girl do at the end of Act 1 that shows she has a sense of pride and dignity about her?

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

7. Describe Higgins.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay describing the transformation of Liza Doolittle from common flower girl to lady.

Part 1) In what specific ways does she change, and why? Are the changes mostly superficial or deep changes?

Part 2) Consider Liza's statement at the end of the ambassador's party: "nothing can make me the same as these people." Is she now really transformed into a duchess? Why, or why not?

Part 3) When and how does Liza truly come into her own as a woman? What does she realize about herself at that point in the play?

Part 4) Does Liza's process of transformation have to do with the way she speaks, or does it have more to do with the way she views herself? Explain.

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

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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