Pygmalion Personal Response

I quite enjoyed reading the story of Pygmalion for a very simple reason, the way Higgins expressed himself to everyone. After hearing a lot of others’ opinions on how they believe Higgins is rude, self-absorbed, and self-righteous because of the way he talks to people however I disagree.

 

Of course, I must admit to the fact that he not only uses a tone and unusual language filter in comparison with what is acceptable by today’s standards but to those not paying close attention is showing disrespect. However, I believe it’s much deeper than that. At first when Higgins addressed Eliza, I also perceived him to be rather rude and thought of himself better than her. Although it is still very possible that Higgins believed he was better it seems he was not intentionally being offensive later throughout the play it turns out he articulates himself in the same manner to his mother and everyone else. To me portraying that it is a path of honesty and truthfulness. He does not intend to hurt anyone rather he attempts to be direct or as some might say “blunt” which to me is a fascinating characteristic.

 

Furthermore, it seemed Higgins was purposefully trying to show everyone that he did not care what happened to Eliza, that it was just a bet and an experiment. Burt personally I do not believe that was the truth. I believe he did actually begin to care for her in great amounts, and that he was to shallow to actually show this until Eliza confronted him about the truth

 

Evidently it seemed Pickering inhabited some similar habits in ways of communication. To me it seems as though sub consciously over the duration of the story he increasingly mimicked Higgins’s behaviors.

 

Overall it was very interesting play to read as it went very into detail of the characteristics of each individual and what they truly want to portray of themselves which was quite interesting to me.

Pygmalion Personal Response

Pygmalion, the original was interesting, minutely.  The remake by George B. Shaw was very entertaining and interesting.  I liked the change from the easily grasped statue and sculptor, to the less tangible language teacher and student.  It is more real, and removes the odd, deity pities mortal situation.  Instead of a wanting sculptor and a marble statue made living flesh, the characters of George B. Shaw’s version of Pygmalion are more human, with flaws.  Higgins being the somewhat childish and fully self-absorbed.  He constantly produces entreating remarks with no consideration, and Eliza the thin-skinned common flower girl.  I enjoy the addition of another lover to make the triangle, Freddy, the lovestruck lunkhead.

The change from the book to the movie is interesting to see, but I think I should have read the book before watching the movie, the biggest change the movie gave was the party scene, which added a bit of suspense and allowed our characters to be fleshed out a little more, particularly Higgins with the introduction of an old student of his, who is also the source of suspense.

For some reason I keep  looking for a message in the old Greek version of the story.  I can never find one.

Personal Response to Pygmalion

Pygmalion

I kind of enjoyed reading this story, but there were also times where I didn’t like it as well. For example the way Higgins talked to everyone kinda of made me feel as if he saw himself as someone who is better then everyone else, as well as not knowing he’s offending people at times without even knowing he is, the same goes for Cornell Pickering. I also feel as if they have no filter on how to talk to people and knowing what they are saying. Higgins doesn’t change how he talks for anyone not even his own mother, his mother has to tell him when he is being rude or says something he’s not supposed to.

Also while reading this I felt bad for Eliza because Higgins and Pickering only saw Eliza as a bet and not as a human being, but rather a project. Not only that but this story made me think and wonder why people have to change who they are and how they talk to get a job, or anything else in life. Eliza said that she wanted to be a flower girl in a shop but couldn’t be not only because of the way she looks, but also because of the way she talks as well. This then causes Eliza to go to Higgins to help her change the way she talks just to get a job.

This book has also made me release that even if you don’t have much, if you work hard enough and push through all the troubles that come across your path, you can achieve what you want. I had released this when reading about Eliza and her determination to be a Flower girl in shop, evening if that ment she had to put up with a rude and openly honest man to do so. Having gone through with all of that she had become a lady and accomplished becoming a lady and could now work in a flower shop. This had made me feel that if I believe and really want something with enough determination I can accomplish it, just like Eliza had with wanting to be a girl in the flower shop.

Overall though I had enjoyed this book and would recommend it to my family and friends who haven’t heard of or read this book before. Minus the things I had just said it was a very interesting book to me, and had also made me released something’s as well.

Pygmalion Personal Response

Pygmalion by Shaw George Benard was a provoking play that emphasizes the complexities of human interactions and the interaction between classes. One of the most important lessons Eliza teaches is that if you keep elevating and improving yourself in life, it’s nearly impossible to go back to the way you were. Two things stood out for me in the play: Higgins’s resemblance to Torvald from A Doll’s House and the femininity shown by Shaw among the different social classes.

I had many mixed emotions about the characters in the play, specifically Higgins. Though he was a selfish, arrogant, prideful man, and I didn’t like how he interacted with Eliza, I felt bad for him in the same way that I was left wondering what would happen to Torvald and his kids when Nora just left. Just the way Torvald had provided everything to Nora, he did the same with Eliza. He gave her everything from a house, clothes, and food and made her a beautiful lady accepted into society. However, like Torvald, even after giving her everything, he didn’t give her respect as a person. But instead, he looked at her as if she was his creation and had to reach his perfecting expectations. Higgins did not bother to even take a second to recognize Eliza but rather made her feel like she was no use to anyone. He Higgins tells Mrs. Pearce that Eliza is “no use to anyone but me.” This shows how he views Eliza as a lesser being with no feelings.

Pygmalion is an excellent example of feminist criticism in literature. Male domination over females is apparent throughout the play. Shaw portrayed how being a lady impacted how you were regarded throughout the Victorian era. Women were expected to act in a certain way–the stereotypical lady-like way, where some women have to work, and others don’t. This is evident in the treatment of the flower girl when she interacts with the daughter and mother in act 1. The daughter looked down upon her, and when her mother was giving her money for the ruined flowers, she stated
“Make her give you the change.”
This ill-treatment can be inferred because of the flower girl’s speech and appearance. However, the second time they meet again, they meet Eliza, a beautiful, fair woman who has excellent speech, is listened to and treated nicely.

Shaw demonstrates femininity among the different social classes through many charters who had specific roles and boundaries. He also shows the fixed roles all these women had: Eliza, the poor flower girl; Ms. Pierce, the house help; and Ms. Higgins, an upper-class lady who had a home and raised her family. He shows through three characters that these fixed roles and specific definitions of femininity are artificial. Through the transformed Eliza, there is a new vision of a woman. A woman who is educated, career-minded, and self-reliant.

Altogether, it was an interesting play to read and observe how much appearances in the Victorian time meant and how people were meant to act in their specific social class. Eliza is a woman who is now considered a fair lady and not just a flower girl to bring up her status in society. After declaring her independence to Higgins, she is now free and an independent woman. However, now that her outer appearance has changed, I was left with her question: Is she really better off?

Pygmalion Personal Response

In the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw I noticed how the author makes Higgins an apathetic person showing how he refers to Eliza as if she is an object with no feelings, useful and something that they can make advantage of her.

During the play, we see how from Higgins and Eliza meeting each other along the street, to Higgins teaching Eliza to be a lady as she wanted to. However, their relationship is something peculiar as Higgins treats Eliza as an object. When Eliza was a flower lady, Higgins treated her with no respect for being from the lower class.   She arrived to his house to ask him for English classes, during this discussion, Higgins is prejudicing Eliza for being poor:

PICKERING: Does it occur to you, Higgins, that the girl has feelings?

HIGGINS (looking critically at her): Oh no, I dont think so. Not any feelings that we need bother about. Have you Eliza?

(p.18)

No matter that Eliza asked polite for classes, Higgins looked down at her not caring about her feelings.

Later on the book, after the argument between Higgins and Eliza because she feels invisible for Higgins and Pickering and they just care about their success and that the bet is over. Eliza leaves the house without telling Higgins and Pickering. They called the police not knowing she was with Mrs. Higgins. Higgins just wanted to find her because she is useful for his daily tasks. Higgins and Pickering went with Mrs. Higgins to talk about it:

PICKERING: The inspector made a lot of difficulties. I really think he suspected us of some improper purpose.

MRS HIGGINS: Well, of course he did. What right have you to go to the police and give the girl’s name as she were a thief, or a lost umbrella, or something? Really!

(p.56)

Eliza’s purpose for the argument was for Higgins to realize how he was hurting her feelings. Higgins thought of her as a selfish girl. And when she disappeared, Higgins just wanted her back because she is useful for his tasks. He was not even planning to apologize. The author shows in Mrs. Higgins’ reaction an affirmation of Higgins’ behavior towards Eliza.

Near the end of the play, Eliza tells Higgins that she could marry Freddy. But Higgins disagree about that:

HIGGINS: Can he make anything of you? Thats the point

LIZA: Perhaps I could make something of him. But I never thought of us making anything og one another; and you never think of anything else. I only want to be normal.

(p.69)

The author shows us that Eliza is reaffirming that he only takes advantage of people.  And she just wants to be an educated lady.

The different scenarios that the author makes creates the personality of Higgins. Showing us how apathetic he is by referring to Eliza as an object no matter her social status. I do not like the personality of Higgins because people need to learn to care about others’ feelings and to respect them. However, Higgins makes the play more interesting and it made me want to read more.

I really liked the “well-made play” in this play. It gives the play a twist. It also allows the reader to think about what could have happened before and after the time that the play is taking place. I liked how in a short play there can be lots of changes of circumstances.

 

Pygmalion PR

The play Pygmalion by Geroge B Shaw is set in the early 20th century, at the end of the Victorian period in England. Shaw uses language to identify the strict hierarchy that is portrayed in the play. 

Higgins did not try to get to know her and got straight into tutoring Eliza on manners and speech. In act IV, Higgins is proud that his tutoring was successful. Higgins and Pickering chats about how the experiment is getting “rather boring” knowing that Eliza is in the same room with them. In this scene it is clear that Higgins views her as an experiment and does not take her feelings into account. Higgins is so focused on his academic interests that he lacks empathy for not only Eliza but others too. As the play gets near the end, Eliza notices that Higgins is no more than a person who only cares about his success. His arrogance and his impoliteness result in Eliza growing a strong hatred towards Higgings. I think watching the play made it easier for me to see the strong dislike that is portrayed in the book. It seemed like Eliza was going through an emotional rollercoaster in Act V when she threw the slipper at Higgings out of rage but moments later decided to pick up the ring from the stove.  Eliza is not afraid to stand up for herself even though it is against a person who is in a higher class, Eliza makes sure her feelings and opinions are communicated thoroughly but at the same time somewhat takes Higgings’s feelings into consideration. 

Pickering was one of the few characters who were kind to Eliza despite her class, the way she spoke and her manners. Pickering referred to her as Ms.Doolittle instead of Eliza which shows respect and kindness. Pickering and Higgins had very different personalities whilst being good friends was surprising to me as they never had an argument.

I liked how Shaw left the play somewhat ambiguous as to whether or not Eliza opens her flower shop or whom she marries. I personally didn’t like how the play left the ending a mystery, although I think I prefer this over a cliche romance novel ending.  

 

Personal Response to Pygmalion

After reading Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, the ending immediately grasps my attention. The end of the play leaves us with numerous scenarios and different endings. In particular I enjoy how we are able to decide what happens at the end and ultimately what happens to Eliza. This ending allows us to imagine her happy or unhappy ending and what she does with all the new skills she has acquired. This finishing of the play stood out to me because unlike other plays where there is often a happy ending, we see that in Pygmalion the ending is ambiguous. The effect this has on the reader is that it creates a sense of mystery and gives the audience something to ponder after the play is over. It also makes us question whether or not it was all worth it in the end. All of the effort Eliza put into becoming a lady, did she reach her end goal? Was she able to sell flowers at a flower shop?

The difference in characters between Higgens and Colonel Pickering caught my attention. The two of them working together everyday in efforts to help Eliza become a “lady in a flower shop” and both of them being very good friends is interesting to me as I notice how different their characters are. Higgins is upfront, brutal and often rude, whereas Colonel Pickering was shown to be kind, warmhearted and tender. The drastic differences when they spoke to Eliza was the most evident difference in characters. Colonel Pickering was polite and understanding of Eliza where Huggins was always yelling and picking fights. This made me question how Higgins and Colonel Pickering got along so well if they treated others so differently. We also see the difference in characters when Higgins and Pickering go over to Mrs. Higgins home. Pickering was polite and greeted everybody accordingly while Higgins was away in the corner speaking his mind. This particular duo was interesting to read about and discover how their relationship was despite their differences. 

The character development of Eliza also stood out to me while watching and reading the play. We see that she is introduced as a lower class flower girl with an outrageous and irritating accent. We can see that her sense of manners and her overall attitude did not depict a “lady” or someone in the upper class. With help from Higgins we see that by the end of the play she is transformed into a whole other person, but at what cost? Eliza mentions how she was happy selling flowers on the street and she mentions how she wished they had never helped her. We do not get to truly know if Eliza is happy with the transformation and if she ever became that lady in the flower shop. Her character starts off constantly complaining and very impatient and whiny but as the play goes on she develops into this confident, polite, and ladylike woman. 

 

Pygmalion PR Sergio Camarillo

Pygmalion was definitely an interesting play. Throughout it I was really attentive to the way it was representing and building up the myth of the same name. Yet when it was nearing the end I was skeptical because the “sculptor” who was Higgins In this case, wasn’t falling in love with her and didn’t really care for her like the sculptor in the myth did. After finishing the play and seeing that it didn’t really stay true to the myth, I began to fit some pieces as to the closest thing to the myth.

In my opinion I think that there was love in the relationship between Higgins and Eliza, just not the emotional kind. It was Higgins’ self love and control and over Eliza. I represent it as his love for the thing he created, the change in Eliza and seeing her act like he taught her to made him love the idea that he was this sculptor and that he had control of her.

Eliza mentions this when she is arguing with him and says that she was treated like a slave in that house. She constantly ran errands and although she was not a maid, she was the next best thing to Higgins. It was the control he started to have over her by ordering and being rude to her without any consequences. At the end he is so confident in his control that he knows that Eliza will return.

Although the play doesn’t give a concrete answer, I think she didn’t go back to the house. At that moment the sculpture was done and she became alive. She had her free will now and she wasn’t going to waste it on Higgins, but to go out as a changed person who would start her new life. It also gives a more “satisfying” end than the original myth, as some people criticized that the sculpture had no free will and was only made to love even though she just came to life.  Eliza has her choice and based on her standing up to Higgins more and more,  think she finally took it.

Pygmalion Personal Response

Reading Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw gives me a contradictory feeling towards the main characters, Higgin and Eliza. I really enjoyed the form of a well-made play in Pygmalion; the rising action of Higgins creating his “Galatea” through Eliza was exciting, and the climax was unexpected. 

Higgins is a self-centred, narcissistic, cold-hearted man by the way he treats the people around him. He does not care about anyone but himself, and whenever people point out his mistakes, he would just make up excuses or even blame it on others. At the start of the play, he is portrayed as the notetaker; he observes people not as real human beings but as objects that help him with his studies; it suggests that everything to Higgins is nothing but an experiment, and he is unable to show compassion towards people. Of course, Eliza is also a victim of Higgins’ experiment, “It’s the most absorbing experiment I ever tackled. She regularly fills our lives up: doesn’t she, Pick?” (P.43) This indicates that Higgins is only helping Eliza to fulfill his boredom. 

Even though Higgins is presented as a cold-hearted monster, George Bernard Shaw creates Higgins in a way that makes audiences have conflicting emotions toward him by being generous towards Eliza. On the surface, Higgins did not do any wrong to Eliza, and he teaches her how to become a lady as she asked. He cultures her, buys her new clothes and even allows Eliza to stay at his place. Higgins has never asked for anything in return. It is not Higgins’ fault for Eliza being attached to him emotionally. Similar to Torvald in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, both characters are viewed as antagonists in the beginning, but as the story develops, we get to learn more about the characters and acknowledge that both characters are flawed like we are all and there isn’t a real ‘antagonist.’ 

People argue that this play displays male chauvinism through Higgins. However, I do not entirely agree. Higgins did not treat Eliza poorly just because she was a woman or in a lower class. Multiple pieces of evidence show that Higgins treats people the same regardless of their gender or social class; for example, he doesn’t seem to care about Mrs. Eysnford Hill on the at-homes day and even forgets about the gentleman at the party. He even says, “About you, not about me. If you come back, I shall treat you just as I have always treated you. I can’t change my nature, and I don’t change my manners. My manners are exactly the same as Colonel Pickering.”(p.66) It is Higgins’ rude and cruel personality that causes his behaviour. Male chauvinism does not seem to be displayed by Higgins.

Eliza is emotionally attached to Higgins, this can be seen in the stage directions and dialogue between characters. For example, after the conflict, she threw away the ring that Higgins gave her but picked it up after he left. After all the cruelty that Eliza has been through, why does she still feel the need to stay? Why does she pick up the ring after she threw it away? There are two possible reasons that she picked up the ring, she either thinks that the ring is valuable and shouldn’t be wasted, or the ring relates to Higgins, and it is a symbol of an emotional bond between them. Mrs. Higgins also states, Mrs. Higgins:

“The girl is naturally rather affectionate, I think. Isn’t she, Mr. Doolittle?” “Just so. She had become attached to you both. She worked very hard for you, Henry! I don’t think you quite realize what anything in the nature of brain work means to a girl like that. Well, it seems that when the great day of trial came, and she did this wonderful thing for you without making a single mistake, you two sat there and never said a word to her, but talked together of how glad you were that it was all over and how you had been bored with the whole thing. And then you were surprised because she threw your slippers at you! I should have thrown the fire-irons at you”(p.60) 

If Eliza is not emotionally attached to Higgins, why would she get so upset if Higgins says he is glad that it is over and does not applaud her after the party? It is heartbreaking for Eliza to know that she is not as important as she thinks she is to Higgins and that Higgins only treats her as his ‘lab rat’. 

 

Pygmalion Personal Response

In Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw presents ideas around social classes and gender using the characteristics of Eliza and Higgins. This is especially evident when it comes to Higgins being childish and Eliza being irritating.

Eliza Doolittle is presented as a low social class flower girl, annoying and asking higher class people for money. Shaw shows her as a person who completely violates the English language. Eliza annoys Higgins, for example when Higgins says “You have caused me to lose my temper: a thing that has hardly ever happened to me before.” (p.53). This quote lets us notice how Eliza has the ability to irritate Higgins, more than most people. Shaw uses Eliza’s character traits to develop readers’ perception of her as annoying and needy. Inturn Shaw develops a relationship between annoyance and low social classes and uses Eliza as a representation of the generalization of the ignorant and poor.

However, Eliza’s nuisance of a character could be related to the way Higgins and Pickering treat her. Since Higgins and Pickering met Eliza, they acted child-like, by making a bet in regards to Eliza’s improvement in language and manners. It’s even pointed out when Mrs. Higgins says “You certainly are a pretty pair of babies, playing with your live doll”. This shows how normal men played with women like they were dolls in the early 1900s.

Shaw’s use of characterization shows how annoying Eliza Doolittle is, and how childlike Higgins and Pickering are. There are likely many reasons why her character is irritating. Possibly the way she’s treated by society, for being a young, lower-class woman with a loud voice and a disgusting impossible-to-understand accent has resulted in her annoying character. Or rather is the perception of her character as annoying caused by these factors. Shaw raises awareness of our own personal biases of character perceptions. Similarly, Higgins and Pickering manipulate a poor young woman, changing her future for a childish bet. This represents the little care men have for woman’s lives.

English PR Pygmalion

Pygmalion is an amazing story on how a street girl with a dreadful accent decided to take english classes so she can become a lady in a flower shop. Professor Higgins decides to accept a challenge in where he is the one bringing Eliza into his house so she can become the lady she so desperately wants to become.

The challenge takes on for months, and as the days go by we can tell that Eliza is picking up very quickly in what Higgins is trying to teach her. As the play moves on, Eliza is ready to start trying to fool people in thinking she is a lady, she even made Freddy fall in love with her. The author creates a lot of descriptive imagery during the play which only makes it more interesting for the reader and more fun.

The play creates a lost of modern socialist ideals in where all women should receive education just like any other man. The play also shows how only rich married women could receive this education. It also shows how women depend on the men, this is shown where Eliza asks Higgins about her role in after her classes are over, he mentions that she should find a very rich man and marry him.

The author arrises different questions, he made me ask myself why is education so important? Why is gender equality important? How did we achieve educational equality? Overall, I really enjoyed the play and I thought that it really makes the reader think about the social problems in society and gender inequality.

Pygmalion Personal Response

Pygmalion by George B. Shaw was one of the most stressful plays that I have read and watched, not only did the old english make it difficult to read, but the accents made it harder to watch.

The story went from being slow to fast in a heart beat. First, the introduction of the characters felt unnecessarily long, when they were fighting about who was going to pay and when her dad came over and started negotiating it was also unnecessarily long. The part that needed to be the longest was when they were teaching her how to speak and how to pronounce certain letters, but, they never showed it. The party, the long awaited party, was not even on the book, they had to added to the movie.

The end is anticlimactic, because she finally talked back to them after being through months of abuse, she finally “stood up”, if that’s what you even call it. Out of all of the book we’ve read, this one is the one that made me angrier because of the fact that this poor woman was taken advantage of, used and disposed like an old rag.

When Mr. Pickering and Mr. Higgins were talking after the party in Mr. Higgins’ studio and Eliza was on the corner not being ignored but also not acknowledged, used like a maid they could order around.

I liked that in the end she escaped to Mrs. Higgins’ house, the only place she was treated like an equal and not a stray dog they picked up from the street. Overall I will say this is my least favourite book that we have read all this year.

PR: Pygmalion

The play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is a more open to interpretation version of a typical romance play. Probably the biggest thing that sets Pygmalion aside from other plays of its time is its non conclusive ending. Unlike the typical or “cheesy” play known as the Well-made Play, Pygmalion ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, except there is no sequel – and there need not be one. Pygmalion ends with a fight between Eliza Doolittle, one of the main characters, who was a poor flower girl that was transformed into a duchess by Henry Higgins, and Higgins himself. In typical Well-made Play fashion, this play would have ended much more pleasantly. Because the whole play revolves around Higgins teaching Eliza to become a “lady”, and because the play is based around the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, it would be expected that Higgins turns Eliza into his ideal wife, and they get married and live happily ever after. However, this is not the case. Although the ending is left to interpretation, Shaw himself concludes in the epilogue of the play that Eliza and Higgins would never marry, and Eliza instead marries Freddy, a side character from earlier in the play. This may seem like an unsatisfying ending for some, but I however think it raises questions – like what happens to Eliza and Higgins, and how does the “new Eliza” fit into her new social class? Is she accepted? Because of this is more interesting than if the play had ended with Higgins and Eliza marrying like expected.

The hate Eliza developed for Higgins can be seen throughout the play. From the beginning when Higgins called her by “Eliza” whereas Pickering (Higgins’s partner with Eliza’s teaching) referred to her as “Ms. Doolittle”. The difference that is explained at the end of the book for the reason that Eliza dislikes Higgins and not so much Pickering can be summed up to this quote:

Liza: “That’s not true. [Pickering] treats a flower girl as if she was a duchess.”

Higgins: “And I treat a duchess as if she were a flower girl.”

(p. 66)

This contrast between how Pickering and Higgins respect others plays a big role in why Eliza came to despise Higgins.

Although I would have liked Higgins and Eliza to get along in the end, the surprising ending of the big fight was more intriguing and leaves room for the mind to guess what happens next. Of course Shaw comes in during the epilogue clearing some parts of the story up, but having this room to let your mind decide what happens next is one reason why this play was enjoyable to read. Instead of being left with a dry, expected ending, or even a sad one, the reader is left to decide what becomes of Eliza and Higgins. I personally would like to think that Eliza opens up her flower shop and that Higgins and her still eventually have some contact with each other, even whether that means Higgins seeing her in her flower shop.

Overall the play was interesting and not very predictable which made it exciting to read. The occasional witty humour was enjoyable, and so was watching the development of characters, especially Eliza.

Pygmalion

Pygmalion tells the story of a transformation and detachment: it is not the pretty clothes and the andressed accent that make the new Eliza, but the emancipation from her creator.The author plays with the Cinderella motif. He counteracts it ironically and disappoints the common expectations of the audience: his Cinderella does not put on the sacrificial shoe, but instead throws slippers at the mischievous prince.

The author represented a socialist and feminist point of view: language and manners were among the most important class barriers in his time. True personal and economic freedom, in Shaw’s view, could not be achieved by marriage, but only by renouncing typically feminine traits and obligations.

The play raises many pressing social questions: What is the meaning and purpose of education? How can the individual overcome his social determinacy? What price does one pay for uprooting and is it even worth the alienation? What responsibility does the scientist have towards the human research object? And what comes after the experiment?

Pygmalion PR

After reading and watching the movie Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw I found myself asking a lot of questions about the classism and morality of each of the characters. 

I felt like this book works really well at showing how classism was so prevalent at this time and how it still is now. In the book, Higgins immediately treats Eliza like she is worth less than him and is not even worth his time because she is poor and living on the street. As the book carries on and Higgins and Pickering do Eliza’s makeover they still both treat Eliza like she doesn’t matter to them and like they are too good for her, even though they made her look like a lady they still treat her as if she is poor and just their object. Even today most people who are comfortable in life and have money look down on poor people as if they aren’t human and don’t matter as much just because they can’t afford a house, food, or anything else. Higgins also doesn’t have great morality, this is shown with how rude he is when he speaks to Eliza, his mothers guests, and almost everyone else, he treats Eliza like an object and even says she has no feelings. Although Higgins acted this way I do believe that Eliza should have left differently and not have left Higgins and Pickering without even a thank you for everything they did for her.

Overall this is a very good book and movie that allows for a lot more in-depth thoughts about everything going on in the world. 

Pygmalion PR

(This is a bad PR, I wrote this with a headache)

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw Is an odd adaptation of the original Greek myth, and also had amazing character development. The original Greek myth of pygmalion, the sculptor falls in love with his sculpture that he created. In this adaptation I find that it may seem different but actually much more similar than expected. At a glance we can see that professor Higgins makes Eliza a woman, and according to the Greek myth Higgins should fall in love with Eliza but that isn’t what happens in the play. At the end of the play Eliza says to Higgins, “Buy them yourself (p.72) after he requests she pick up a few things while she’s out. This is different from the myth as no love relationship happens however I noticed that Higgins in a way did begin to “love” Eliza(love as in like a friend or family not as a lover). I noticed this when he asked her to be his adopted daughter, “I’ll adopt you as my daughter and settle money on you (p.69).” Although he is in a way using her, the fact that he doesn’t just let her go completely, and instead still wants a connection with her makes me think he has begun to gain feelings towards Eliza(feelings as in for a friend or family). If we look at Eliza at the beginning of the play she is no better than a statue to Higgins however at the end he having some sort of feelings for Eliza symbolizes how Pygmalion falls in love with his sculpture.

This play also has amazing character and development of the characters. All the characters in the play are very interesting and it’s enjoyable to see how they interact with each other. I think my favourite interaction between characters is Henry Higgins and his mother Mrs. Higgins. Henry, who is very egocentric and believes he is extremely smart talks to his mother who isn’t egocentric but is in reality much smarter than Henry. I loved reading the part when Henry and Pickering try and guess the problem that eliza has and Mrs. Higgins responds with, “No, you two infinitely stupid male creatures (p.44).” This was interesting because Henry throughout the play is known as a very intelligent human but seeing him be called stupid by his mother was oth funny and interesting to me. 

The character development in this play is also worth mentioning. I’ve already talked about Higgins feelings for Eliza as the play goes on however Eliza has interesting character development as well. At the beginning of the play Eliza is not submissive at all, and won’t listen without whining and yapping. Throughout the play she begins to help Higgins with his things and does what she is told to do. However near the end of the play she reverts back to being unsubmissive and says her last line which is, Buy them yourself (p.72). This shows how she reverted back to almost her past self of not being controlled and sold. I think one of the main things this play brings up is how women sell themselves in marriage, and when Eliza says that she wont buy Higgins things it shows how she won’t sell herself and she can’t be shaped by the society around her.

Pygmalion Personal Response_Zack

In an everchanging society of humans, stage-plays and the such, as an artform, have attempted to makes viewers question about the way how our society is ran through specific situations in the stories. For example, Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, has probed the question of what is fairness in an unfair society, through the story of Shylock. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, on the other hand, had asked readers about the division in society. Some important themes are: Language as a barrier of classes and the vast difference between the society back then compares to nowadays.

Shaw’s play has shown us the ugly importance of language in his work, Pygmalion: that the extent to which how a person sounds and how smart they sounds dictate their social class, yet it does not equate to their level of intelligence. Take Higgins for example, he is a well-spoken expert of British accents, which had allowed him to be at a well spot in the hierarchy of British’s society. On the other hand, Eliza, a more rash sounding flower girl, was thought by Higgins, to be stupid, immature because of her accent that is hard to hear. However, Eliza is not even a bit silly, but very aware of her own self-worth, as she has clearly said that she is a good person with the right morals when being ridiculed by Higgins for consulting with him about her lessons with him. Such evidences has shown how one’s own knowledge and awareness need not to be shown through how they speak, but rather in what they actually understand.

On the same matter of language, it is very noticeable how the society back then differs from the one such as today: it was a sadder one (but not exactly a dystopia, per se) in terms of economy. This is prevalent in the tea-talk that Mrs.Higgins had with the Eynsfords: that despite having a good amount of money, they are not the upper-class folks. While it is sad, it is the reality in which they had to live in.

All in all, Pygmalion was an excellent play that tackles a lot about the division in of society and how the environment corresponds with it.

Pygmalion Personal Response

After watching the movie and reading the book Pygmalion I was quite surprised. I had actually watched a newer rendition of the movie three years ago but at the time I didn’t know it was Pygmalion. Previously, I had heard of the tale of Pygmalion, but the movie and book do not feel like the same thing. I understand, from a metaphorical perspective, how Higgins shaped Eliza and turned her into a “lady”, similar to how Pygmalion shaped Galatea. However, I find that there aren’t many other similarities. Overall, I can see how they are both Pygmalion but I don’t think there is a strong enough connection to call them the same thing.

A question that was raised for me when reading and watching was did men share similar moralities and ideas to Higgins? We do not have too many different male opinions in Pygmalion because there aren’t many significant characters in total. One example of a man having somewhat similar ideas was Colonel Pickering, he was intrigued by the idea of the bet and was fully supporting of it. However, he did not share the same morals as Higgins, we can see this when he would openly oppose Higgins insults to Eliza and made sure she was treated right. This is just one example of another man but I was wondering if other men were like this. It also made me think if the way people treated each other depended on their own class, and the class of others.

Something I liked and disliked at the same time was the dialogue between Higgins and Eliza. I didn’t like the constant the verbal abuse from Higgins to Eliza, but I also didn’t like some of Eliza’s noises and annoying proclamations. The part of it that I liked was the development of it. As Eliza became more and more educated she was able to hold her own in their conversations and a was able to withstand some of Higgins verbal jousts. I thought this was very clever, especially as a way to show Eliza’s progression to becoming a “Lady”.

Overall, I enjoyed this book/movie, it was entertaining and delivered a message about outer appearance vs inner personality similar to A Doll’s House. I make this comparison because at the time if you were born into a certain social class that would be your class and no matter what happened you would be seen as that class. However, Eliza’s transformation shows us that it is what’s on the inside that counts. Despite the fact that I don’t think it should be called Pygmalion I would recommend someone watch this, and read if they want but I think in this rare case the movie is better.

Pygmalion

I enjoyed the play Pygmalion by George Shaw, but it was somewhat slow paced. The characters were well written and had distinct personalities which made it interesting for me to read. The questions that were brought to the surface for me when reading the play, is it right for Eliza to leave Mr. Higgins without such a notice after what he did for her, and secondly, does Mr. Higgins overstep his boundaries when she leaves him.

Eliza was in the right to leave as she was paying him as a tutor (through Mr. Pickering), and because Higgins did not own her in any way, it should not be his problem that she left. It does get more complicated when you think about things politely. It was rude for Eliza to leave Higgins without a notice or a “thank you” for how he helped her, because she was the one who came to him and asked him for language lessons. Higgins accepted this and also housed Eliza and fed her for the length of her lessons. No, I do not believe that it was right for Eliza to leave Higgins without saying goodbye or “thank you,” even if she was fuming.

Higgins oversteps his control over Eliza when he sends the police after her to retrieve  Eliza when she leaves. Eliza was only studying under Higgins, which means Higgins has no right to do something as dramatic as sending the police after Eliza. Unlike in the original written by Ovid, which Pygmalion is based off. The reason for Higgins freaking out, was because he believes that he does have ownership of Liza, because he made her into what she is. “She doesn’t belong to him. I paid him five pounds for her.” (v.7) This is Mr. Higgins speaking when he is talking to Mr. Doolittle. He says that Liza belongs to him because of the five pounds Henry gave Doolittle. The reality of this is that Eliza does not belong to Mr. Higgins, and Mr. Doolittle was only trying to make money off rich people like Higgins.

 

Pygmalion PR

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is one of my more favourite pieces of literature that we have read so far. It was written in the early twentieth century and can be much more easily comprehended than the ancient Greek plays like Odysseus or Antigone. I am more used to the grammar and words used. Watching the play also helped with this as I could see the visual of what the author might be trying to portray.

At the beginning of the play, George Bernard Shaw did a great job of characterizing Eliza as an annoying egocentric flower girl. When reading the first scene, whenever I read Eliza’s line I could almost hear an annoying squeaky voice in my head. She is always creating a big fuss and always wanting the centre of attention. This is especially prevalent in beginning of act 1 when she is freaking out because she is told that a man is taking notes on how she is talking and acting. “I ain’t done nothin wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I’ve a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb… I’m a respectable girl…” She kept on whining and screaming and I just wanted her to stop. Watching the play was even worse for this. The voice of the actress and how she was depicting Eliza is exactly how I imagined it to be. She was extremely annoying and always seemed to have to get a word in. Mr. Higgins seems to agree with me on this as he constantly wants her to stop talking and calls her funny names like “a squashed cabbage leaf”. On page 32 Mr. Higgins is fed up with her and says something quite rude but I thought that it was humorous at the same time. “Oh shut up, shut up. Do I look like a policeman?” (p. 5), “A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere – no right to live… and don’t sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon.” This second quotation shows how Mr. Higgins is not the gentleman that he seems to think that he is. He is a rude person. When watching this part of the play I was fed up with how annoying Eliza was acting and I was happy when Mr. Higgins said that line.

This play is based off the Greek myth where Pygmalion creates Galatea, his ideal woman. This is similar to what Mr. Higgins did to Eliza Doolittle. He wanted to turn this flower girl who was not even classified as a “lady” because of her accent and how she acted, into a lady. Throughout the play he changed her whole personality into what he thought was the perfect lady. He ignores that Eliza is a person and is is prioritizing his own ego being one of the best linguists in the United Kingdom. This reminded me of the last book we read A Doll’s House where Torvald was also prioritizing his ego. Both pieces of literature show the stereotype about male egoism.

In conclusion Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is one of my more favourite pieces of literature because it conveys a strong message while still being entertaining to watch and read.

 

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After reading Pygmalion I found myself questioning whether it was morally right for Eliza to have left Higgins without anything in thanks for what he did for her. However, there are very valid points from both sides that make this a really difficult situation. In Higgins’ case, he has essentially created a new and much-improved life for Eliza, he taught Eliza how to speak proper English and how to act like a “lady”, which would help her to obtain a working-class job and no longer have to work selling flowers in the street. Eliza’s future looks much brighter now, but for Eliza, Higgins didn’t want to help her sincerely; it was initially a bet for him to improve her English and “ladylike” manners. When we approach the end of the play Higgins obviously cares about Eliza but his ego wouldn’t let him admit it. This leads to Eliza believing that in reality, she was just a piece in a bet for Higgins, so Eliza running away really makes sense. Why would she want to stay with someone when she has no value to them? It’s hard to come to a conclusion on this.

 

Eliza’s new lover also gives her another reason to leave which creates a lot of anger in Higgins. Freddy and Eliza had been exchanging love letters after they had met at Mrs. Higgins, not only does this help give Eliza confidence to go out into the world, Higgins is obviously angry about this and makes fun of Freddy calling him an idiot. I think that comment was Eliza’s last straw, Higgins was further showing he is a very self-centred person with that comment because anyone else other than his friends would be considered idiots. Additionally, this shows that Higgins doesn’t really care that much about Eliza, he really just wants a sense of ownership over her, which is very similar to Torvald in “A Doll’s House”, a man losing a woman hence losing a relationship that makes him feel powerful. However once again we are met with the fact that Eliza wouldn’t even have the choice of having a middle-class lover if it wasn’t for Higgins, so we are still left with an unanswerable question. What would the morally correct thing to do be for Eliza?

Pygmalion: On Events Creating an Opposite Meaning than is to be Expected

In Pygmalion, what strikes me most is how the events of the play create an opposite ending than what would be expected. Professor Higgins constantly shows a lack of respect towards Elisa Doolittle, therefore giving the notion that by the end of the play, Doolittle would leave Higgins. However, how Doolittle reacts to Higgins at the end of the play is opposite to that, showing that instead the improper behaviour Higgins shows was actually liked by Doolittle.

When talking to Doolittle, Higgins says that she wold be better off living a rougher life and to leave him, “Can’t stand the coldness of my life and the strain, go back to the gutter! […] You find me cold, unfeeling, selfish, don’t you? Marry some sentimental hog…” (1938). Higgins is insensitive when talking to Doolittle, and uses rude language to push his point. He rudely points out to Doolittle that he rescued her from her tough life in the “gutter”. He shows a lack of care and compassion, which would make Doolittle want to leave him.

Higgins has empathy, yet shows it only when he must, and otherwise chooses to follow ethical goals in a rude way. Higgins’ long-term goal is to help Doolittle become confident and independent, and to do so treats her poorly, often getting angry at her. “Take one step…I’ll wring your neck! […] Eliza, I said I’d make a woman of you, and I have. I like you like this” (1938). In reality, Higgins likes Doolittle and wants her around. He acts roughly, for that is how he prefers to talk, and he wanted Elisa to be able to put up with that, and for her to return it too.

Bernard Shaw brings up the question of why Doolittle and Higgins end up liking each other through juxtaposing behaviour with intention and outcome. Shaw does this by characterizing Higgins as a perpetually disrespectful and incosiderate person, and Doolittle as a sensitive person. However, the true intentions of Higgins become clear to Doolittle, and she realizes that he is a person who cares for her. Therefore, by Higgins acting roughly, he meant to toughen her up, not to hurt her.

Personal Response to Pygmalion

Pygmalion is a modern retelling of a classic story by George Bernard Shaw. His protagonists struggle for freedom and justice for women, and his plot points are anti-classist. George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion deconstructs and re-contextualizes the original Greek myth of creating the ideal figure, placing it in the social and political context of 19th century England. Eliza’s transformation represents Pygmalion sculpting Galatea out of ivory, and Shaw’s commentary is already present in this action. Mr. Higgins proposes this project as a gamble, with no clear hope of carrying it forward. When Eliza arrives at his house the following day, he only accepts the job if money is guaranteed. Mr. Higgins’ knowledge of phonetics replaces Pygmalion’s sculpting capacity, and Mr. Higgins ostensibly triggers a transition in Eliza as a result of this knowledge. Eliza’s transformation, on the other hand, is very different from Galatea’s sculpting.

Pygmalion alone is responsible for the development of Galatea. From the ivory block, she emerges completely developed. Eliza’s transition is dynamic and multilayered, in contrast to her simplistic conception. She must not only adjust the way she talks, but also the way she appears and dresses. Of course, Mr. Higgins is too busy to help Eliza with her bathing and dressing, but he does share his understanding of grammar with her. Also, Eliza’s abrupt shift in voice isn’t completely down to Mr. Higgins’ work, as a careful reading can reveal. Eliza is transformed by her own experience and dedication, as well as Mr. Higgins’ knowledge and instruction. Another contrast in the development is that, while Eliza appears and sounds noble, she does not speak as one. Her vocabulary is always a little rough, and the subjects she addresses are a little inappropriate. Her transformation is warped, and she never completely comprehends the beauty represented in Carlos Parada’s story. Eliza’s dismissal of Mr. Higgins leads to society’s current feminist understanding of women. Of course, this plot point differs dramatically from that of this novel, in which Pygmalion and Galatea fall in love and have a child together. Mr. Higgins is dismissed by Eliza because of the various ways he mistreated her in the play. The scenes after the ball, where Eliza passes for a lady of the upper class, have a significant influence on Eliza’s character. Eliza is anxious about the future. She no longer knows where she belongs and wants more, and she is terrified of losing everything she has achieved as a result of her transition. Mr. Higgins dismisses her fears, believing that her issues will be fixed by marriage. Eliza leaves a life with Mr. Higgins in the play’s final scene because of his inability to regard her with kindness or dignity. This is a simple feminist understanding of Carlos Parada’s “happily ever after” story.

Why does Galatea think for Pygmalion and want to be with him? Since it was not the point of the play, this issue is unlikely to have occurred to the ancient Greeks. The modern reader, on the other hand, may wonder who Galatea wishes to be and whether Pygmalion is a good fit for her. In his novel, Shaw attempts to answer these questions. Pygmalion, he concludes, does not genuinely love Galatea; rather, he loves himself, his work, and his abilities, and thus is undeserving of Galatea’s love. How could a man who hated womankind to the point of inventing his own love be able to love even that woman? And then there’s the matter of how any woman might be doomed to the destiny of living with a man who despises women? He can’t love her, and no woman should be treated this way. Eliza’s abandoning of Mr. Higgins concludes the deconstruction, claiming that Galatea’s character is an impossibility; since every woman has power over her fate, she must leave the man who will only destroy her life.

Carlos Parada’s plot is totally reframed in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. He employs a modern setting of 19th century England to critique the notion of making the ideal woman, putting it under the scrutiny of feminist criticism. He analyzes the various interpretations and consequences of each plot point as he deconstructs it. He deconstructs the narrative and then reassembles it using critical feminist philosophy as a guide. Pygmalion examines a text that only embraces the dominant male view on certain issues in order to answer questions of male-female relationships and the female right to choose.

Pygmalion Reflection

Pygmalion by George Bernard is a play where we can see differences in levels of wealth and how looks and impressions impact our social status. Eliza in this play experiences firsthand how all it takes to become upper class is to change her voice and clothes, she attempts to lose her natural accent and general mannerisms, in hopes to attend the Embassy ball. Higgins sees this as being an experiment and does not even seem to see Eliza as a person and instead of a test subject. He does not attempt at all to learn about who Eliza is, and instead just immediately starts trying to fix her vocabulary and the sound of her voice.

Language is the main focus it seems when it came to Higgins transforming Eliza from a “Flower Girl” to what he thought a woman should look and be heard as. Judging someone by the way they use their language is still relevant in today’s society, people will assume your intelligence and views on subjects immediately, even sometimes from only hearing the tone of your voice and not even your usage of the language that you speak. We see this in the movie when Eliza is at the Embassy Ball and she speaks to a man who seems to be an expert of the English language, he tells his friends after speaking with Eliza that she is not speaking pure English, he thinks it is too good to be true and proceeds to call her a fake. The play shows us this judgment of class through language at the Embassy Ball, which is a very high-class event and people are judged incredibly hard. If the movie were put in the setting of say a high school, you would find them similar. We don’t look at how people really are and judge the surface looks and sound rather what’s actually under the surface just as Higgin’s did with Eliza though he was too much more of an extent.

Language is a massive part of how we see people, add a few intelligent words to your vocabulary and you will sound much more intelligent sometimes even a different person. When I look at Eliza it made me realize how little the barrier can be between upper-class and lower-class people in looks and sound. The lower class may have less money compared to the upper class but could fit in just great if they spoke a little different and dressed in a suit or dress every day, then you wouldn’t be able to tell whatsoever who is lower and who is upper class. Just because someone speaks differently than what you are used to does not mean that they are incapable of anything you can do.

Personal Response to Pygmalion

I really enjoyed this movie, it kept me captivated for a lot of it. Unfortunately I slept during some parts but obviously they weren’t that important because I still understood the story. The topics I will talk about is “Language as a badge, emblem, or marker of social class”, “Comedy as a way to criticize society and motivate social change”, “The connections between language and education”, and “Is society today anything like the society we see in Pygmalion?”

Language as a badge, emblem, or marker of social class in Pygmalion is very prominent we can see during the high class party where she is passed off as a duchess, with her new posh accent, she is seen as a duchess than her normal flower girl with her previous accent. Without this new accent she would be seen in a much different light than she was normally. If she had all the clothes, makeup, and look she would still be seen in a different light if she had her original accent, she may be thought as a thief if she had her original accent with all these fancy clothing/look, and probably the opposite if she had a posh accent with poor clothes saying like someone took it. Another example of Language being used in this sense would be Higgins over all thought to him, during parts of the movie I really thought he had somewhat of an ego, and I think this is due to his studies which is Phonetics.

The connections between language and education is very strong in this film, usually the posher the accent the higher the education, and vice versa (the type of accent Ms.Doolittle has) would be assumed to have a lower education or no education.

Comedy as a way to criticize society and motivate social change, I feel as though it is good to have Comedy criticize anything in general and motivate social change. The usually connotation with social change could possibly be more serious and maybe only appeal to older people, if you put it in comedy it can be seen by more people in a different light which may cause others to feel more inclined to motivate social change. People shouldn’t exactly need things to be in a different light to be able to support it, but it helps.

Is society today like anything the society we see in Pygmalion?              I feel as though there is many aspects that are similar like education and  . Education is very similar today, because if you have no education you aren’t seen as poor necessarily, but that is usually the connotation and if anything having a lot of education can make you poor/in debt because of student loans.

Overall I find the movie to be very enjoyable with plenty light-hearted, serious, and sometimes comedic scenes.

Personal Response: Pygmalion

While watching Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, I realized how deeply ingrained the idea of male chauvinism and glow up culture is present in our society. My first impression about Eliza Doolittle is that she is just trying to get a better life for herself by undergoing an extreme transformation. Doolittle is handcrafted into Higgins prefect little creature, to the point where he thinks no one else but him should “have” her. 

The idea of “male chauvinism” and “glow-up” culture disturbs me. In the media, we see this trope of glowing up: a way of expressing one’s growth through a drastic change in appearance, usually making the character more visually acceptable to societal beauty standards. These young women in the media go through a vast transformation in popular movies and TV shows, such as Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, She’s All That, and many more.

Why is there such a big presence of glow ups in the media? Why do we enjoy a typical makeover? We see these makeovers in coming of age or romantic movies. No surprise but these makeovers are toxic towards women. The women in these films are physically changing to fit society’s ideal beauty standards of that time. This discriminates against a vast majority of young girls and women. But it also says that if you want to change to become a “better person” or experience some sort of growth, you’ll have to change your appearance to fit this ideal beauty. Not only is changing your looks to fit this ideal problematic but it is also with the help of a man. The men in these movies are shown as “trying” to help their romantic interest by making their conquests more socially acceptable. Like in Pygmalion, Higgins buys and teaches Doolittle everything, to the point of her not having a say of what she wants to be. In all of the before mentioned movies, all of the women go through a transformation not by their own prerogative, but by someone telling them they have too, or by someone helping them change. This change usually stripes the main character of their usual charm.

I believe that we should move away from physical transformation in the media and focus more on discovering one’s inner values. I think it is important to have a clean appearance, but we should be able to express ourselves and our flaws. In Pygmalion, it upsets me that Doolittle couldn’t get a job because of the way she speaks. Without Higgins’s or Pickering’s help there would be no way for Doolittle to get out of poverty. It is interesting that society puts so much value on looks; does this really enhance what’s important to our inner values?

Pygmalion: Personal Response

Through George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, we see a world represented by different English accents as a social barrier between the elite and society’s dregs. Eliza Doolittle is a poor flower-girl who wishes to behave like a lady to make her life somewhat better.  Henry Higgins thought this would be an excellent opportunity to train her to improve her grammar, gestures, and appearance. Just some work and effort would make her one of the elites in London.

Once Eliza was ready to change her appearance, it was surprising how shocked she was looking at herself; many others like her did not care about their accent or actions as long as they made enough money to support themselves. However, I don’t particularly appreciate how Higgins treats Eliza; she is a person with emotions; he should put aside his ego and be kind and behave like a gentleman, but instead treats the lower class like his objects. It is startling how he is trying to change Eliza to become a lady, but he is an arrogant bachelor instead of a kind gentleman. I found the play humourous, mainly when Higgins referred to Eliza with numerous names, specifically a “squashed cabbage leaf.” It was humourous yet quite disrespectful.

London’s citizens had established different social classes; everyone worldwide has different inflections and pronunciations, which is not bad. One of the reasons I felt what Eliza feels is because I am also someone from many other places with several accents, so I understand how difficult it is to speak in a different accent and try to fit into society. I found some parts of the play quite relatable to the Asian community. Such as when Higgins would make Eliza study until late at night, even though she was practically crying, saying she couldn’t do it anymore, he still didn’t let her give up. Higgins was not rude in this situation but simply trying to educate Eliza as she requested to become more ladylike.

I tried to connect this play to my daily life, and I realized, even though Higgins is portrayed as an arrogant bachelor, I like his character the most. He doesn’t beat around the bush, and I find my words quite similar to his. “Have a little cry, and say your prayers, and that’ll make you comfortable.” Eliza was ungrateful after all that Higgins has done for her; he said this phrase because most people cry or pray when they are upset or angry.  He did not appreciate her much; he treated her like a flower girl and not a lady. Mrs. Higgins and Mr. Pickering express that women need to be appreciated from time to time; every woman deserves to be treated like a lady regardless of socioeconomic class. Everyone must be treated kindly, regardless of gender, race, or social class.

I think what happens to Eliza after Higgins’ work is not his responsibility. She is an adult woman capable of making her own decisions and taking responsibility for her own life. I want to describe society as a mould, which requires everyone to behave a sure way to be accepted and fit in. It’s okay to be different; that’s what makes us unique; it is not wise to pressure ourselves to fit into a society filled with people judging us.

Personal Response: Pygmalion

George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion shows the language as a class barrier, Shaw underscores the unbending progressive system of English society through an assortment of characters at various socioeconomic levels. The power of language to get through friendly obstructions is completely acknowledged in Eliza’s change, it’s that she can take only Higgins language which cuts her off from her previous life. One of the symbols in the play is mirror. In act II, Eliza is shocked to find a mirror in her new bathroom, she doesn’t know which way to look and finally hangs a towel over it. It represents the moment Eliza unguardedly sees herself as she truly is, dirty, disheveled and far from ladylike in her personal habits. Eliza’s glimpse in the mirror reveals to her the need for a change and the result of taking a shower proves that is possible, thus the mirror symbolizes self-awareness and identity. Appearance and identity serve as indicators of social class, language, dress, wealth, manners and morality, these signs are superficial. The transformation that Eliza, a poor flower girl turns into a self-reliant woman. It occurs under the tutelage of Higgins. He didn’t realize that his experiment represented a more important transformation than class. It was the awakening of Eliza’s soul. However, I was a piece baffle about the completion since I don’t comprehend why Eliza said she stands alone yet still feels like she needs to remain with Higgins. 

Higgins is careless about people’s feelings, this trait becomes most evident in his experiment of Eliza whom he transforms from a flower girl into an upper class lady, his inability to see and treat Eliza as anything more than an experiment forces her to take a stand of independence unchanged by the end of the play. Mrs. Higgins soon discerns the problems that her son’s experiment will cause for Eliza; her affection for Higgins does not shield her irritation at his lack of manners. I like Mrs. Higgins a lot because she is intelligent and perceptive. I actually think the speechless thing is the means by which Higgins took Eliza in while never considering what might befall her a short time later. I feel like at last Higgins doesn’t want to part with Eliza because he doesn’t want to let go of his creation, his successful experiment result. Anyhow, the film was interesting to watch.

 

My Personal Response To “Pygmalion” by George B. Shaw

In the play “Pygmalion” by George B. Shaw, we see a similar, if not identical storyline to “My Fair Lady”. In both playwrights, we see how a highly respected professor/gentleman decides to help a loss class woman get off the streets and become a member of the high society by teaching her how to become proper through grammar, vocabulary and etiquette lessons as well as basic everyday gestures.
Although the storyline portrays the ideals of “an ugly duckling becoming a beautiful swan”, there is much more which the naked eye might not perceive. The Victorian Era in which it takes place shows much more about a human’s natural sense of protection and needs to “do the right thing”, which in modern time is something I believe we have lost thought of. We as a race have become greedy and self-absorbed, forgetting that most people that are on the streets, in poor houses, etc. are not there by choice, but by lack of guidance and morale of society.
We can use Skid Row, for example, this is one of the poorest areas in the entirety of the United States of America. Originally starting off as a city area where the homeless could find shelter and somewhat comfort has now become overthrown by gangs, homeless people and erroneous propaganda. How did it get this bad? The decline of this sector comes from the huge increase in unemployment rates in the country, and since many people are badly educated or not educated at all, in most cases they aren’t even given the chance to get a job to pull themselves out of the “slums”.
We see a great representation of this when Eliza wanders the streets she once was from after having a large argument with Professor Higgins about her integrity and morals.
Another topic that is largely shown throughout the play is “self-respect”. This all begins in the first few minutes of the play when we see Ms Doolittle trying to sell flowers to the people around her and someone makes a comment about Professor Higgins writing down what she says (her method of selling merchandise by making others feel pity for her, therefore pushing them to support her in whatever way they can to feel as though they have done “a good deed”). Later on, we see it when she enters Professor Higgins’ home and is questioned by him about her means to pay as well as her true hunger for improvement whilst the “maid” of the home attempts to persuade Professor Higgins to listen to her and not throw her out. The most important and shocking scene where we see this is near the end of the play when the professor and Ms Doolittle get into an argument at night when he questions her character and integrity accusing her of stealing his things or attempting to whilst he sleeps for which Ms Doolittle at this point in time comprehends her worth and chooses to leave that night and show herself the self-respect which she has deserved for herself the entire time.
In my opinion, this play is a great example, especially for young women or women of all ages about growth, self-worth, respect and overall, values. It taught me the true meaning of how it does not matter what is on the outside, but it is within you what truly makes you, “you!”. So, in better use of words, I loved this play, it made me smile, laugh and even cry a little bit, but all those emotions came from truly understanding what it means to be human and what society has become versus what it should be.

Personal Response: Pygmalion

George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion encompasses social class to show how the gap between the rich and the poor can be easily manipulated. Shaw had used his character, Eliza Doolittle, as a main representation of the working-class during the 20th century. Aside from Eliza Doolittle within the movie, many poor men and women were living in central London. People worked hard for food and cared less about their appearance since appearance had little benefit towards their survival if they were poor. There was manipulation with Eliza since she was changed due to another person’s wealth, not because of herself. Although Eliza worked by selling flowers, she was still a poor working-class woman, she had a job that made little to no money, jobs like this were common for the poor. If a poor person wanted to become wealthy this want was nothing more than hope.

Belief in social class and one’s social manners to be true can be undeniably false within Pygmalion. Someone’s class can be changed by changing their manners and their behavior to being proper. Eliza became a ‘proper’ woman, meaning she changed her accent, behavior, manners, and appearance to appeal to those wealthier. She had changed not because of herself but because of Professor Henry Higgins who found it an amusing challenge to change such a poor woman. Higgin’s being a wealthy middle-class linguist had the knowledge and the wealth to change everything about Eliza Doolittle. He changed her cockney accent to an upper-class English accent. I find it surprising that one’s accent during the 1900s could distinguish their class, it just shows how the idea of status changed people.

 

 

 

Personal Response: Pygmalion

George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion portrays male chauvinism mainly through Henry Higgins. He is privileged, egoistic, and insensitive towards other people, especially towards women and those from a lower class. He is irresponsible like a child in many ways, yet he can easily determine Eliza’s future.

At the start of the play, Higgins is portrayed as a note-taker. He observes the crowd as subjects of study, not as real, living people. He is unable to show compassion towards those from a lower class and mocks Eliza of her accent when she is worried about being arrested. When Higgins brought Eliza into the lessons, he never once considered what would happen to Eliza after the challenge. Even when Mrs. Pearce warned him about what would happen to Eliza, he confessed that he couldn’t care less. To him, giving Eliza lessons is just a  “fun challenge” to prove his ability and satisfy his ego, but for Eliza, it dramatically changes her life and her identity. It must have been horrible to be given a new identity in a “better life,” but only temporarily so that she would need to fall back into the gutter again. It is incredibly cruel. If Eliza never attended Higgins’s lessons and was always a flower girl, she wouldn’t need to ever worry about “middle-class morality” or be concerned with Higgin’s patriarchy.

In Greek mythology, Pygmalion falls in love with his statue. Although he “talked to it with words of love and brought to it the kind of gifts that are thought to please girls,” (The myth of Pygmalion) a statue is still an object. Eliza as a flower girl is just a piece of ivory. As Higgins taught her upper-class dialect and transformed her into a lady, she is carved into a statue.  But there is no Aphrodite to “bring the statue to life.” From the way I interpret it, when she returned to Higgins at the end, she “transformed” from a statue into a human, or rather, a woman. Although the play makes us wonder about issues regarding the status of women, it is curious why Shaw still decides to use this ending. From the film, I got the impression that Higgins fears Eliza’s parting more because he cannot let go of his masterpiece creation. But I wonder why Eliza feels the need to stay with him. One way to interpret it is that Eliza, although claiming that she now stands on her own, still feels the need for security and status that she would receive from Higgins. Perhaps she has feelings for him as well. As we see from The Merchant of Venice, love, or affection is often accompanied by the desire for power. While Higgins needs Eliza to stay with him to satisfy his ego, Eliza also needs Higgins to secure her social status, and keep her identity as an upper-class lady.

No matter if this ending was a happy one, or how it could have ended differently, I still think the cruellest thing is how Higgins took Eliza in without ever thinking about what would happen to her afterwards. Although the film portrays this casually and even comedically, it is still very difficult to watch. But I enjoyed how these heavy problems are revealed from its light-hearted appearances. The film was entertaining to watch, yet we can unpack many things from it.

 

 

Personal Response to the Pygmalion Film

In George Bernard Shaw’s adaptation of Pygmalion, Higgins adopts an egocentric saviour complex, the moment he meets Eliza Doolittle. During their first encounter, Higgins uses her accent as an indicator of her social class, then places her into a box accordingly. He doesn’t bother getting to know her, nor does he accept that she’s a person beneath her accent, profession, and clothes. Throughout the play, Eliza is just Higgins’ creature, his sculpture, his game. He has an objective to save her, and he will reach that goal, regardless of whether or not she wants to be saved. In the myth of this story, Pygmalion falls in love with a statue of his own creation. In the film, Henry views Eliza in a similar manner, because he refuses to look past his own prejudices. He transforms her from a poor flower girl to a lady; from rags to riches. He attributes her rising status to himself, which feeds his ego. Later in the film, once Eliza has proved successful, we can see his pride surface. To him, he created her success; she was nothing without him, but now she’s somebody. This nature, Higgins’ self-proclaimed heroism, is often associated with privilege. We most often see similar mannerisms in people like himself: upper-class, rich, white males. He leads a comfortable, high society lifestyle, and expects that everyone wants that. He views people of lower classes as subservient. Therefore, when he decides to ‘save’ Eliza, to transform her into someone that she isn’t, he thinks he’s doing her the utmost service. Since he fails to listen to and empathize with Eliza, Higgins lacks perspective, and his actions fall short. He may think he’s doing a good thing, but that thought process stems to his naivety and privilege.

In response to Higgins’ aforementioned actions, we can visibly see Eliza’s pain. As Henry ‘modifies’ every detail about Eliza—from her accent to her appearance—he’s telling her that being herself is not good enough. Then, when he finally allows the ‘new and improvedEliza to enter society, he instructs her to stick to small talk on two topics: the weather and her health. At social gatherings, she is limited to superficial chitchat, rather than real conversations. She is deprived of authenticity, which essentially tells her that along with her accent and her appearance, her mind is dissatisfactory, too. Finally, in a rare moment of authenticity, Eliza lets her raw emotions surface, showing Higgins and the audience her pain. She had been dragged through this entire process, subject to scrutiny, and still failed to receive a gesture of appreciation from Higgins. Like in A Doll’s House, Eliza is treated as a puppet, with a man serving as the puppet-master! Both Nora and Eliza were forced into inferior, compliant roles, as many women were confined to in relationships. But contrary to most, Nora and Eliza were able to speak up against their mistreatment, which was a luxury that many couldn’t afford. However, when Eliza finally speaks up to Henry, he treats her arguments as invalid and childish, which only increases the pain she feels. Essentially, she is told that she’s inadequate for being herself, but when she changes, she’s still undervalued as a person. It seems impossible for her to truly succeed, to both her standards, and society’s standards.

I was incredibly underwhelmed by the ending of the film. It frustrated me that Eliza ends up going back to Henry, because that negates her prior actions and words! Higgins treats her so poorly, and never once apologizes for his behaviour, yet she still returns to him. He only falls in love with her after he completely changes her, showing her that it’s in fact his adjustments that he loves, not her. When she leaves his house, gaining independence, she shows a great deal of courage and self-respect. Yet moments later, she retracts that boundary-breaking power, and replaces it with a classic ‘happily-ever-after’. This reminded me of Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women. In this adaptation, we see two endings play out: the traditional one, where Jo ends up in love and married, and the unexpected ending, where Jo ends up independent, single, and accomplished having published her book. This film discusses similar ideas to Pygmalion, regarding the “well-made play”, and endings that will please readers. In these times, endings weren’t desirable if a woman ended up alone. She needed to be married or in a relationship, because how would it be a good ending if she wasn’t? Marriage (or a relationship) was the ultimate conclusion, the best result, the badge of happiness. In Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Jo is forced to write her protagonist a ‘happily ever after’ with a man, in order to sell her novel. I wonder if George Bernard Shaw faced the same obligations. I haven’t read the play yet, but I believe the ending is different, leading me to wonder whether this ending was modified for the film audience’s satisfaction. Would the ending be the same if he created the film today, rather than in 1938? How much do societal standards affect the creation of literature? I, personally, would have enjoyed the ending far more if Eliza kept her distance from Higgins. It would have solidified the feminist ideas that she preached earlier. This ending was far too neat and tidy, making it contradictory. Though, in certain ways, this could also humanize Eliza, and show that she prioritizes love above independence (and potentially self-respect, though that’s an entirely different conversation). Unfortunately, this ending tainted certain aspects of the film. However, I’m eager to read the play and analyze the effects of the different endings.