The Whole Play
Personally, I took more notice on characters¡¦ personalities and how they deal with life. Beside, I quite agree that this play is a¡¨ personal play¡¨ that deals with conflicts between persons. Generally, Higgins is careless with social manners and his attitude toward other people. For instance, he picked Eliza from the ¡§gutter¡¨ and promised her request and Pickering¡¦s bet ¡§out of fun¡¨. The same as what he had done to Mr. Doolittle in Act¢º. Mr. Doolittle came up with such a ¡¨speech¡¨ to claim for money, and yet Higgins was careless with money and wanted to give him ten pounds, again ¡§out of his pleasure¡¨. Higgins is also arrogant, and self-centered. He told Pickering that Mr. Doolittle could be train to give speech or to preach, but Mr. Doolittle rejected that for he was what he called himself, an undeserving poor. Still, Higgins thought he could control others¡¦ lives, especially those of lower classes. And he wrote to his friend, then Mr. Doolittle became a middle class in Act ¢½.
Eliza, an ordinary flowergirl wanted to climb up the social ladders, achieved her previous goal after all, but somehow felt not enough. She was now more than a lady, who was well mannered and thus respected and ready for marriage, for example, Clara. Eliza didn¡¦t fit well in her new identity, and she had doubts. Then she found out she wanted to be economically independent. She was fond of Higgins, and she was eager to be equal with him and wanted his response. But he couldn¡¦t give her any specific promises, he even denied his feelings for Eliza. Both of them wouldn¡¦t be straight with each other, and even I was confused by their ambiguous words. When Higgins said ¡§I shall miss you¡¨ and ¡¨ I can¡¦t turn your soul on¡¨, this showed his care for Eliza, though not skillfully expressed. But Eliza didn¡¦t soften her anger even she was touched. How could they ever be mutual understood if they don¡¦t be true to others and themselves? As said in the after words, Maybe Higgins is too good for Eliza, so she married Freddy; and I think in some way Eliza is too good for Higgins.
Comparing to Eliza, Clara, a poor genteel also wanted to climb up, had not so much luck to choose what to be but a richman¡¦s wife. And she¡¦s just one of the victim (ladies) at that time. Bernard Shaw pointed this out in contrast to Eliza, though she had limitation herself.
Bernard Shaw always kept us in suspension about their ¡§romance¡¨ in this play. In the film ¡¨My Fair Lady¡¨, however, Eliza tends to stay with Higgins after all. This film emphasizes the ambassador¡¦s party and the at-homes at Mrs. Higgins¡¦ and Eliza¡¦s training process, which was not much mentioned in the play. Unlike the film and the myth Pygmalion, we don¡¦t have a happy ending here. Eliza married Freddy and left her heart on Higgins, it¡¦s sad and stupid of her to do so. Also in the after words, Shaw mentioned how hard for both Eliza and Freddy to support themselves, and thus made it realistic than being a fairy tale. Struggle is necessary for one to progress and succeed.
Happy endings are popular but easily forget while tragedies leave us feel sorry and much in wonder and be impressive of the imperfect of life.