Subject The whole play
Posted by Jennifer
Posted on Wed Jan 13 03:26:55 1999
From IP  

The Whole Play
In this drama we can see that Bernard Shaw reveals some information about his own opinions and the real situations in his society. First, about the value of marriage, many women ,like Clara, were eager for hunting a husband. In that age, women relied on men to live. Thus, only become a lady can make it possible to marry a gentleman to support her. However, Eliza is the opposite type person. The reason she wants to be a lady not for a husband. She says,''I sold flowers. I didn't sell myself.'' And in Act 4 she becomes a woman of action instead a lady, also changes to a working woman to be independent, to support herself. This has kind of symbolic meaning of overthrowing the tradition.
Second, about the morality. This part is the most complicated one , also the most worthy part for discussing and thinking. In P.61 and P.62, Higgins says,''You see, we're all savages, more or less. We're supposed to be civilized and cultured---to know¡K'' It shows that because we're all savages ,thus our inner is ugly , is superficial, although we're wrapped by pretty music and art outside. We're afraid of talking about our inner thoughts, and we are unwilling to admit our immorality. Nepommuck is the most obvious example in this drama---pretends to be moral. Compared with Nepommuck, Mr. Doolittle is not as artificial as Nepommuck. He is much braver. When he was poor, he called himself as 'the undeserving poor.' In P.48 and 49, Mr. Doolittle admits that he's evil and lack of morality, for he always threatens others for money. He even thinks that what he needs isn't less than a widow. But he has his principle--- not a penny more, and not a penny less. Too much money for him will make him feel prudent like; and then say goodbye to happiness. That's why he feels unhappy when he was given five millions and became 'the most original moralist.' As he was an undeserving poor, he was happy, he don't need to care about money. But now, he is a rich. He has to give away his money to the poor, and lots of people surrounding him for asking money. The number of his relatives is increasing rapidly and suddenly. All these makes him feel disgusted. Now that he's a moralist, he is a fine model. He has to sacrifice many things and does something he didn't want to do before, like marry a woman.
Third, about women's status in society. The relationship between Higgins and Eliza is very subtle. Higgins is selfish, self-center, is child-like---does anything what he wants to do. He uses some belittled words to call Eliza. In my opinion, she has soul, spirit , is a life, how could he use those bad words? He doesn't respect others at all. After being educated, Eliza knows that be treated equally is her right. She tries to teach Higgins personal relationship. Finally, Higgins realizes that Eliza is equal to him , is no more master and slave between them and is not a lady only. After Eliza leaving , he discovers Eliza is one part of his life , not a part of the house.
Compared Higgins and Pickering, Pickering is more human-like, not as Higgins only cares about his job. And Pickering is more gentle, inP.98 it says,''I shall always be a flower girl to Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treats me as a lady.''

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