Subject Act One
Posted by ^g
Posted on Mon Jan 11 23:33:22 1999
From IP  

Joanna 487200116
In act one, we can see that the play begins with a heavy rain that causes all pedestrians to find a shelter which is in front of a church. I think it's a public and open place that can be a meeting place to let all people from different class to get together. As we know that a church always represents holy, charity, gentility and clean, I think it is symbolic of higher class, because people who go there usually are rich and have time. Besides it is a flower market which some paupers sell flowers there, so I think it is symbolic of lower class. At beginning, we can see a family's dialogue, from their conversation, I don't think their relationship is well, because the daughter and mother only care about their own feeling, they don't show any thanks and sympathy to Freddy who had already got wet. For example, the daughter said that" And what about us? Are we to stay here all night in this draught, with next to nothing on? You selfish pig-" The mother also said that" You really are very helpless, Freddy. Go again; and don't come back until you have found a cab." See, that's how they treat that poor boy. I think Freddy is a kind man not only because he does what his mother told him but also he treats Eliza politely. While his sister seems more harsh, she looks down Eliza and hates her mother to give money to her. I think the mother is more sensible, because she gave Eliza money and she didn't show any abhorrence to that girl.
The way Pickering and Higgins treat Eliza is so different. I think Pickering is really a gentleman with sympathy, though he didn't buy flowers, he still gave Eliza money. When he saw the flower girl was so frightened, he told to Higgins that" Really, sir, if you are a detective, you need not begin protecting me against molestation by young woman until I ask you." While the attitude Higgin shows to Eliza is so different, he calls her a silly girl and disdains her pronounce. He said that" A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere-no right to live. He didn't care about that poor girl's feeling, maybe he didn't do it on purpose but it shows Higgins is not a sensitive and considerate man. At the end of this act, we can see that Eliza's room is so small and tattered, things in this room are so simple. I think it's a typical poor person's room, she didn't take a bathe or change her cloth before going to bed. She just kicks off her shoes and takes off her skirt. Form this, we can know that she doesn't have well education, she is a casual person.
I think there are two important things in this act needed to be discussed and these are money and language. We can see that Eliza always asks people to give her money, the relation between them are giver and taker. The giver usually has the right to speak loudly, just as when Eliza shows money to the taximan to express that she has the right to take a taxi because she has money. When Higgin heard the church clock's sound, it recalls his inner kindhearted, he gives her much money that makes Eliza so surprised. Now let's talk about language, when Higgins heard Eliza's talking, he felt she is shameful, he thinks her native language should be the language of Shakespear and Milton and The Bible. He said to Eliza that" You squashed cabbage leaf, you disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns, you incarnate insult to the English language." From here, we can see that they all live in English, but their pronounces are so different, maybe it's because their class is different, so the lower class doesn't have that chance to learn well language. However, we can tell one if he is up or low class by his language.

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