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 describes Liza's home?

2. What does Sweet think of the Pitman system?

3. Which comment does Shaw make about the realism in his play?

4. Why does Shaw's attempt to help Sweet fail?

5. Which of the following does Shaw identify as a problem among his fellow English?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe Higgins.

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

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

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

9. How are Clara and her mother different?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Write an essay examining satire in Pygmalion. Satire is a humorous writing that exposes the foolishness of certain customs, behaviors, and institutions of society. What conventional beliefs and attitudes of the English middle class does Shaw satirize? Examine in particular:

--The speeches of Alfred Doolittle about middle-class morality and marriage.

--The arrogance of Higgins, and what his mother and Mrs. Pearce think of him.

--Neppomuck's foolish pomposities at the Embassy party.

--The characters of the snobbish Clara and her mother Mrs. Eynsford Hill, who clings to her past.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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