Pygmalion Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test 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?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the theme of nature versus nurture in the play Pygmalion.

Part 1) Henry Higgins transformsd Liza Doolittle. Does he really change her essential nature, or only the superficial aspects? Explain.

Part 2) Consider Pickering's statement, after the ambassador's party, that "Eliza was doing it so well. You see, lots of the real people cant do it at all: theyre such fools that they think style comes by nature to people in their position; and so they never learn." What does this say about Liza's natural sense of style?

Part 3) Consider how Liza was raised (reread Act 2 for her father's comments about how he raised her). Did Doolittle's nurture (or rather, lack of nurture) harm Liza? Is he to be blamed or credited for the way she is now?

Part 4) While Higgins changes Liza, is she able to do the same with him? Why, or why not?

Part 5) Consider this statement from Higgins: "I cant change my nature." Is this true? Can anyone really ever change his or her nature, or are all changes only superficial? Explain, using examples from the play.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay examining the message about classism in the play.

Part 1) What does the play Pygmalion suggest about the relationships between the classes in England at the time of its writting (1916)?

Part 2) Which social classes are represented in the play, and how are they depicted?

Part 3) What makes Neppomuck, the ambassador, and others believe that Liza must be a princess, and what does that say about the artificiality of class distinctions?

Part 4) Who, according to the play, is a real lady, and who is a real gentleman? What makes a person a lady or a gentleman?

Part 5) What do you think Shaw ultimately wants to say about class divisions in society?

(see the answer keys)

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