11 Things You Didn't Know About 'My Fair Lady'
Professor Higgins can never love any human being because his Higgins agrees that this is how he feels as well - a platonic relationship is in order. Pickering is to Eliza, or Eliza's biological father Alfred Doolittle). . Classic Movie Blog Association - Best Classic Movie Series (Classic Movie Blog Tips). As with any teacher-student relationship, it's best if there's a firm break Now, the history of Eliza Doolittle, though called a romance because of. The main characters in Pygmalion, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, first met each other in Convent Gardens, both sheltering from the rain outside a church.
Don't sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon. His lady love should be respected, and he cannot fathom anyone who won't regard her as he does. When Eliza speaks in her Listen Grove lingo, full of screeching sounds and loud noises, Higgins declares in hyperbolic fervor that someone, "who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere—no right to live.
When Eliza declares, "I won't be passed over," Higgins quickly retorts, "Then get out of my way; for I won't stop for you. His heart belongs to another. But Eliza has had plenty of men wanting her "that way," as she calls romance. She understands that at the end of the experiment, Higgins' offer to return to his house as one of the bachelors is not some elaborate ruse of a Lothario, but as I want a little kindness.
I know I'm a common ignorant girl, and you're a book-learned gentleman; but I'm not dirt under your feet. What I done [correcting herself] what I did was not for the dresses and the taxis: I did it because we were pleasant together and I come—came—to care for you; not to want you to make love to me, and not forgetting the difference between us, but more friendly like.
In her stilted conversation, Eliza makes everything about their relationship clear. Shaw allows some of her slum dialect to slip in again at this point to let the audience know that Eliza is sincere.
Higgins agrees that this is how he feels as well - a platonic relationship is in order. They must hash this out in plain language because others might expect that these two should become romantically involved, but both of them plainly declare that they do not expect this from each other.
Higgins feels trapped by society's expectations of what a guy is meant to be when a woman his age or younger comes into his life.
Pygmalion (play) - Wikipedia
To let a woman in your life, Higgins thinks, is to play a set role that he's not interested in. A man is meant to be a love-sick school boy like Freddie is to Eliza who writes her letters every day or a somewhat protective father figure like his linguistic colleague Colonel Pickering is to Eliza, or Eliza's biological father Alfred Doolittle.
Higgins wants to be neither. He's only in love with his vowels and protective against slang.
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Why can't he have a platonic relationship with women as he has with Pickering? When he explains to his mother that he hasn't married because My idea of a loveable woman is something as like you as possible.
The contrast on stage has to be tremendous or else the Eynsford-Hills would recognize her as the flower girl from the encounter in the first act. Accordingly, we, the audience, are delighted that they are so inept that they do not recognize her. The new Eliza seemingly fits in well in these new contrasting surroundings; that is, Mrs.Vowel Awareness, My Fair Lady, 1964
Higgins' drawing room is described as being very formal with exquisitely refined furniture of the Chippendale style, furnished with excellent oil paintings and other art objects. Thus, the artificial formality of Eliza's speech blends well with the stiff formality of the highly decorative setting.
Following through with the Pygmalion legend, this act shows us Pygmalion's work of art — his Galatea of mythology — emerging in the figure of Eliza. Here is the beginning of the artistic creation making her first appearance, and everything about the creation suggests that it will be, in its finished form, a true masterpiece.
Even at this point, Freddy Eynsford-Hill is totally smitten by Eliza's beauty and her superb uniqueness. At the beginning of the act, the relationship between Mrs.
Higgins and her son is humorous because the mother's attitude toward her son is so eccentric and because she expresses herself with as much forthright honesty as does her son. The depiction of Mrs. Higgins is that of an excellent personality filled with tolerance, intelligence, and imagination. Pearce, she is immediately concerned over the fate of this "living doll" that Higgins has created. This depiction is important because Shaw maintains later in his epilogue that one of the reasons for Eliza's rejection of the possibility of marriage to Higgins is that she could never live up to Mrs.
Higgins' standards, that she could never equal Mrs. Higgins' grasp of life. Part of the dramatic humor of this act lies in the fact that we, the audience, know who the Eynsford-Hills are, but that Professor Higgins can't remember where he might have seen them, which makes us superior to the very superior Higgins.
Throughout the scene, Higgins lives up to Mrs. Higgins' expectations — that is, he is too outspoken, "rather trying on more commonplace occasions," he uses improper language, and, in general, he has an amazing lack of manners.
With Higgins' failure in the realm of manners, we are then presented to Eliza, who will now perform in this same setting.
Higgins has, we hear, coached her on not only how to pronounce her words, but also on "what she pronounces. This scene, with Eliza demonstrating her newly acquired knowledge, is the central scene of this act.
It is in this scene, while Eliza is discussing the weather, that in both the film version and the musical comedy version, Eliza pronounces her now-famous line: She has been trained to pronounce words with impeccable perfection, but as Higgins feared, she has not learned what is proper to discuss and what is not.
Higgins thought wrongly that he was safe in confining her subject to the weather and to one's health. It is, of course, humorously comic that Eliza does confine herself to these two supposedly safe subjects, but naively, she narrates some rather bizarre details of her aunt's death, using the terminology of the slums, yet pronouncing the unsavory words with complete precision. Her enunciation of improper words makes the entire narration comically incongruous.
As a result, behind the outward, new facade of Eliza lies an uncarved interior which remains on the vulgar side.
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In spite of the squalid, if beautifully spoken, narration of her aunt's death, Eliza possesses an element of sincerity in contrast to the silly affectation of Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill's attempt to duplicate the "new manner of small talk. Eynsford-Hill asserts that she cannot become accustomed to young ladies using such words as "bloody," "beastly," and "filthy," and so forth.
Actually, Shaw himself was put off by "proper" young ladies, such as Clara, attempting to use common expressions; he once maintained that "a flower girl's conversation is much more picturesque, [and has] much better rhetoric, [is] much more concise, interesting, and arresting than the conversation of the drawing-room, and that the moment she begins to speak beautifully she gains an advantage by the intensity of her experience and the strength of her feeling about it.
Higgins also comments on the disparity between Eliza's speech and her subject matter. As noted, part of Eliza's problem is that she is learning the English language anew from Professor Henry Higgins, who despite the fact that he is a professor uses speech which is not fit for the drawing room.
Higgins then returns to Shaw's original Pygmalion theme when she points out that Eliza is a triumph of Higgins' art and the art of the dressmaker; but that Eliza is not yet a presentable person. She is only partially carved. The thrill of the experiment for Higgins is also part of the Pygmalion theme; as he tells his mother: The only difference between life and the myth is that here the artist is not falling in love with his creation and, ultimately, he will not be able to control his own creation.