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Subject Pygmalion
Posted by Sarah
Posted on Tue Jan 12 17:37:08 1999
From IP h211.s110.ts30.hinet.net  

Pygmalion
  To my surprise, after reading the last part I found that Eliza married Freddy! This is totally different with what I thought and with the plot in "My Fair Lady". At the end of "My Fair Lady", Eliza comes back to Higgins's place at Wimpole Street, finding that Higgins is listening to her voice from the machine¡KIsn't that means she comes back to him? Well there are still some differences between "Pygmalion" and "My Fair Lady". For example, in "My Fair Lady" Eliza doesn't go home by taxi. However, I can understand why Bernard Shaw arranges it this way.
  Bernard Shaw said that Higgins has such a wonderful mother¢wshe is elegant, rich, kind and well-mannered¢wand thus it is difficult for Higgins to find another lady who can be compared with her. Besides, though he is rich and learned, he doesn't know how to respect women. He always orders Eliza around, never cares about how she really feels and is rude to others. On the contrary, Freddy is always tender and gentle, and he shows his love toward Eliza so directly and crazily. Though he is not rich, Eliza can feel more confidence and self-esteem when being together with him. Besides, Freddy is much younger than Higgins.
  However, we can¡¦t deny that Higgins has some affection toward Eliza. For example, in Act IV Eliza returns the ring, which Higgins buys for her, but Higgins throws it away angrily because he feels hurt. In general, men buy rings for women because they want to propose; Higgins buys a ring for Eliza and we can see that there is a symbol here for ring isn¡¦t a common gift. And in Act V when Higgins asks Eliza come back and is refused, he says, ¡§I shall miss you, Eliza¡KI have grown accustomed to your voice and appearance. I like them, rather.¡¨ (In stead of telling her he likes her, he says he likes "her voice and appearance") Another example is when Eliza told him if he feels lonely he could turn the machine on, he says, " I can't turn your soul on. Leave me these feelings; and you can take away the voice and the face. They are not you." And Eliza answers,"¡KYou can twist a heart in a girl as easy as someone could twist her arms to hurt her..." From Eliza's answer we can see that she is moved but she is as stubborn as Higgins, they both are not willing to show their feeling for each other and therefore their relationship is so unclear like a riddle.
  Though the ending is really surprising, I think it is the better way for the play. Happy endings please people, but they can not make people think more.


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