Pygmalion Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What shocking word does Liza use during the social visit with the Eynsford Hills in Act 3?

2. What does Liza do when she looks into the mirror?

3. What does Higgins say Liza might do next?

4. Why is Pickering afraid at the party?

5. What question does Liza have for Higgins after the party is over and they are back at Higgins's home?

Essay Topics

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 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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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