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Subject The whole play
Posted by Monica
Posted on Tue Jan 12 17:21:32 1999
From IP thanks.sedorm.fju.edu.tw  

This is my first time to read such a long play. During the reading process, I encounter some difficulties, especially in the postscript, but I still can call it interesting. After finishing the whole play, the ending is not as good as I expect, however, I get some inspirations.
In the play, we can see Eliza・s transformation from a vulgar guttersnipe to a real lady. I am glad that she at last had self-awareness and self-assurance and had her own thoughts. Eliza・s improvement is not only her beautiful sound but also her good manners. Higgins taught her how to speak well, of course. But I think it is Pickring that made Eliza become a real lady. When Eliza came to Higgins・ house, Pickring called her Miss Doolittle. That was the beginning of self-respect for her. Eliza could feel that she was indeed respected from the way Pickring treated her. :The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.;, Eliza said. It really impresses me. Higgins always regarded Eliza as the creature he made and treated her like his slave. It is not surprising that Eliza wanted to leave Higgins.
In the whole play, I like Act V the best, especially the conversation between Eliza and Higgins. In their conversation, Eliza tried very hard to make Higgins express his inner feelings, but he always switched to another topic. For example, Eliza told Higgins that Pickring treats a flower girl as if she was a duchess. Then, Higgins said that, :I treat a duchess as if she was a flower girl.; Besides, Eliza asked Higgins to care a bit for her. Higgins・ answer is, :I care for life, for humanity; and you are a part of it.; Higgins always said that he could live without anybody and he had his own soul. But he also said that he would miss Eliza. He had learnt something from her idiotic notions. Furthermore, he confessed that he was accustomed to Eliza・s voice and appearance, and he liked them, rather. He was so contradictory. How can you say you like someone and then hurt her in words at the same time? From their conversation, we can see that Higgins really didn・t know how to deal with human relationship, and Eliza gradually gained the upper hand.
Although Eliza finally became a lady, even more a :lady; she imagined, I think she was not happy at all. After Higgins and Pickring got triumphant success in a grand party, everything seemed to come to an end for both of them. But to Eliza, the real problem was beginning to come. Where could she go? What could she do? What・s to become of her? Since she was a lady, she could not go back to the gutter, because she could not bear to live with lower class people. But it was impossible for her to stay with Higgins. So, Eliza was stuck in the difficult situation.
About the ending, Bernard Shaw left enough space for us to imagine. If I make up the ending, I will let Higgins remain single and Eliza continue explore her potential. Or maybe she will have her own business, though Bernard Shaw said that she was not good at keeping her business at the end. Perhaps in the early nineteen century, it is hard for women to have their own life. They were considered to marry a man and spend their whole life at home. I still hope that Eliza can be an independent woman.


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