Mid-Book Test - Hard
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This quiz consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. How much money does Doolittle demand from Higgins in exchange for his daughter?
2. According to Shaw, what can people do to get rid of their low-class accents?
3. Based on what you read in the Preface, with which of the following statements do you think Shaw would agree?
4. What insulting term does Higgins use to describe Liza in Act 2?
5. What happens to the Flower Girl's basket?
Short Essay Questions
1. What does Shaw think of the quote by Nietzsche, "When you go to women, take your whip with you"?
2. How does Freddy's education and upbringing as a gentleman prepare him for life?
3. Why, according to Shaw, is it important that people be trained scientifically to lose their accents, rather than simply learning by imitation?
4. How are Clara and her mother different?
5. Describe Mrs. Higgins and her relationship with her son.
6. What happens to Doolittle in Act 5? Explain how Higgins is responsible.
7. How does Higgins behave during the social visit? Explain. What does this "gentleman's" ungentlemanly behavior suggest about class differences?
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. Why does Liza become upset when Mrs. Pearce takes her up for a bath? What does this incident show about Liza?
10. What does Higgins do for the Flower Girl? What prompts him to do so? What does this act suggest about Higgins?
Write an essay about the idea of "small talk" and social hypocrisy in Pygmalion.
Part 1) In Act 3, Higgins talks about how ridiculous small talk is: "You see, we're all savages, more or less. We're supposed to be civilized and cultured--to know all about poetry and philosophy and art and science, and so on; but how many of us know even the meanings of these names?" Shortly afterward, Liza shocks everyone by speaking of taboo topics and using a curse word in polite conversation. Clara is delighted by this slap in the face of "late Victorian prudery."
Part 2) What specifically does Liza say to shock everyone? Do you think Shaw agrees that her talk is shocking and rude?
Part 3) What might their polite, "civilized and cultured" conversation have been like if Liza had not come?
Part 4) What do you think is Shaw's opinion of polite small talk, and of "late Victorian prudery" that governs what is and is not appropriate in small talk?
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?
Critics of Shaw often comment that the servants in his plays have better sense than their masters. Write an essay in which you examine the role of Mrs. Pearce in the play, looking in particular at the way she argues with Higgins in Act 2 over what should be done with Liza. Does Mrs. Pearce have better sense than Higgins? Explain, using examples from the play.
This section contains 1,148 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)