Pygmalion Test | Final 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. Who comes looking for Higgins at the beginning of Act 5?

2. According to Higgins, what is Freddy?

3. What is Mrs. Higgins concerned about after meeting Liza at the social visit in Act 3?

4. What does Higgins say about the experiment with Liza?

5. What do Higgins and Pickering fear might happen at the end of Act 3 to spoil their bet?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Neppomuck and the ambassador's wife conclude about Liza? What does it suggest about class differences and about high society that Liza is so easily able to fool everyone at the party?

2. Describe Neppomuck. Who is he, and what does Higgins think of him?

3. How do Freddy and Clara feel about Liza after meeting her, and why do they probably feel this way?

4. What does Liza say about marriage in Act 4? What does her statement reveal about her morals?

5. What type of job does Liza propose to do in the final act? Why might she be better at this job than Higgins?

6. What does Liza ultimately think of the party and of her success at the end of Act 3?

7. Why is Doolittle unhappy with his new status? What is ironic about this?

8. During the social visit with Mrs. Higgins and the Eynsford Hills, what does Liza say that is shocking?

9. Describe Mrs. Higgins and her relationship with her son.

10. Why is Pickering just as important to Liza's transformation as Higgins, if not more so? What is he able to teach her that Higgins could not?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the ending of Pygmalion.

Part 1) Considering the ending of the play, what do you think Shaw's attitude is toward the traditional "happy ending" of most romances?

Part 2) Why, according to Shaw, does his play not end the way most people might expect?

Part 3) Would the play be more satisfying if Liza had married Higgins instead of Freddy? Why, or why not?

Part 4) (optional) If you have seen it, you may consider the slightly different, more "Hollywood" ending in the movie version of the play, My Fair Lady. Compare the ending of the play with the ending of the movie. Which do you prefer, and why?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about symbolism in the play.

Part 1) One of Liza's treasured possessions is a birdcage. Consider what a birdcage symbolizes in Liza's life. For instance, what imprisons Liza, and when does she ultimately become free? Examine in particular her conversations with Higgins in Acts 4 and 5.

Part 2) Higgins has a dish of chocolates on the piano. In Act 4, Liza puts her ring into the dish. Why does she do this? What do the chocolates and the ring symbolize for Liza?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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