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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 Mrs. Higgins concerned about after meeting Liza at the social visit in Act 3?
2. Why is Liza's father, Doolittle, upset with Higgins?
3. What does Liza say she doesn't want to be accused of?
4. Why is Doolittle dressed up at the end of the play?
5. What is striking about Neppomuck's appearance?
Short Essay Questions
1. What does Higgins conclude about the evening and about their joint project at the beginning of Act 4? What does he say that hurts Liza's feelings?
2. What does Liza say about marriage in Act 4? What does her statement reveal about her morals?
3. What does Higgins mean when he says that people are really "savages"?
4. Why is Liza so upset in Act 4? What does she want to know?
5. Why is Doolittle unhappy with his new status? What is ironic about this?
6. What does Mrs. Higgins say when she learns the two men have phoned the police at the beginning of Act 5? What does Mrs. Higgins realize about Liza that the two men do not?
7. Describe Mrs. Higgins and her relationship with her son.
8. What type of job does Liza propose to do in the final act? Why might she be better at this job than Higgins?
9. What does Higgins mean when he says that "my manners are exactly the same as Pickering's"? In what sense is he right? In what sense is he wrong?
10. Describe Neppomuck. Who is he, and what does Higgins think of him?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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?
Essay Topic 2
Write an essay about feminism in Pygmalion. In the Epilogue to his play, Shaw quotes Nietzsche in saying, "When you go to women, take your whip with you." Does Shaw agree or disagree with this statement? Is he a sexist or a feminist, in your opinion? Explain, using evidence from the play. Consider in your essay his characterization of Liza, Clara, Mrs. Higgins, and Mrs. Pearce.
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 1,099 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)