pygmalion – questions and answers


ACT 1
1. What dramatic purpose does the rain shower serve? To gather people

2. Whai tensions already show in the relations between the Mother (later named as Mrs. Eynsford Hill), the Daughter (later named as Clara), and the son, Freddy?
Freddy is simple and dominated by sister and mother

2. Shaw’s Preface indicates enthusiasm for phonetics’ but what “dark side” might we infer from the opening scene in which everyone misconstrues Henry Higgins’ motives for taking down Eliza the Flower Girl’s speech? The note taker is assumed to be of what profession? What is his actual profession?

He seems to be an intruder; he is thought to be a policemen or a performer; he is a man who loves phonetic (professor, scholar),

4. What does the note taker say about a “woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds”? What does he claim to be able to do with her within three months? she has no right to live; she wants to make a duchess of her

5. What coincidences in the first act seem likely to structure the rest of the play? Freddy, the language, the fact he wants to teach her how to speak.

6. Who takes the cab Freddy brings? Why? The florist because Freddy has already paid and her mother and sister have left by bus.

7. What do Higgins and Pickering have in common? Both study languages ; Pickering was looking for Higgins

ACT 2
1. When Higgins recognizes the flower girl, what is his reaction? Why does Eliza want to improve her speaking skills and lose her accent? What does she expect to gain? He sends her away: she wants to sell flowers in a Kiosk

2. Even after he agrees to teach her, what is Higgins’ attitude towards Eliza? She treats her badly

3. What concerns do Colonel Pickering and Mrs. Pearce raise about Higgins’s scheme to educate Eliza? How does he respond to their concerns? He must tell her what he wants to do He says she cannot understand
4. Eliza determines to leave rather than to be further insulted How does Higgins persuade her to stay? With chocolates and promises of money
5. Describe Mrs. Pearce’s role in the play (i.e. not her job). She shows common sense and is the go between with Higgings and Liza (a social class whiuch is in the middle)
6. What is the dramatic purpose of the bath scene? To clean Liza of her past
7. How does Higgins treat Eliza and her desire for education? Discuss a few instances-what assumptions does he make about her, and why do you think he makes them? She wants to get money as he thinks of her what he thinks about women in general
8. Why did Alfred Doolittle come to see Professor Higgins? How would you sum up the creed of Eliza’s father, the dustman Alfred Doolittle? What does he have against “middle-class morality,” and why? To get money; he is a poor miserable opportunist and egoist. He thinks he deserve what the other have. Because he thinks that people who deserve are not moral
9. Doolittle says, “l’ m undeserving, and l mean to go on being undeserving.” Why does he not want to better himself? Because it could mean to lead a correct life: married, hinset…
10. Why does Doolittle want only five pounds instead of the ten he is offered? Because if he is given 10 pounds he should take care and be careful not spending them.

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