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 a problem with the English language, according to Shaw?

2. Which of the following describes Liza's home?

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

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Liza's father come to see Higgins?

2. Describe the Flower Girl.

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

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

5. Who are some of the most important people in England, according to Shaw? Why do you think this is so, again, according to Shaw?

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

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

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

9. Why are shorthand methods inadequate for ordinary use?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay examining the attitudes toward love and marriage in the play.

Part 1) How does Shaw satirize, or make fun of, conventional attitudes toward love and marriage, for instance, through Higgins and Doolittle?

Part 2) What, according to Shaw in his Epilogue, is the balance of power men and women seek in marriage? What is an ideal marriage like?

Part 3) Why do some men never marry?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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