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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 does Mrs. Higgins think when her son shows up for a social visit at the beginning of Act 3?
2. What does Higgins think of Neppomuck?
3. What do Pickering and Higgins say makes Liza a "genius"?
4. What does Higgins say about the experiment with Liza?
5. What is the main reason Higgins brings Liza to the social visit at the beginning of Act 3?
Short Essay Questions
1. Does Higgins really not care about Liza? How can you tell? What comments and reactions on Higgins's part show that he is growing fond of Eliza?
2. 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?
3. Describe Neppomuck. Who is he, and what does Higgins think of him?
4. How do Freddy and Clara feel about Liza after meeting her, and why do they probably feel this way?
5. Why doesn't Higgins want Liza to fetch his slippers for him and perform other like tasks?
6. Describe Mrs. Higgins and her relationship with her son.
7. What does Higgins think Liza should do with her future? Does he really give it any thought?
8. What happens to Doolittle in Act 5? Explain how Higgins is responsible.
9. What type of job does Liza propose to do in the final act? Why might she be better at this job than Higgins?
10. What does Liza say about marriage in Act 4? What does her statement reveal about her morals?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 2
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 3
Write an essay examining satire in Pygmalion. Satire is a humorous writing that exposes the foolishness of certain customs, behaviors, and institutions of society. What conventional beliefs and attitudes of the English middle class does Shaw satirize? Examine in particular:
--The speeches of Alfred Doolittle about middle-class morality and marriage.
--The arrogance of Higgins, and what his mother and Mrs. Pearce think of him.
--Neppomuck's foolish pomposities at the Embassy party.
--The characters of the snobbish Clara and her mother Mrs. Eynsford Hill, who clings to her past.
This section contains 1,208 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)