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    Mr. Mag
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    The reading of Pygmalion

    مُساهمة  Mr. Mag في الخميس نوفمبر 04, 2010 8:45 am

    The reading of this story is somewhat enjoyable and interesting, if the unpredictable, non-traditional storyline is appealing to you, as a reader. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy these types of storylines of the encountered struggles between the lower class individuals and their constant strives to be recognized as anything but lower class.This story illustrates that though there is a social hierarchy in London at the time, those with the ambition and tenacity to jump social strata’s have the opportunities and are able to succeed in doing so. Once in this position however, some tend to question their place in this class and whether they fit in with the mainstream doings that are found with that status. With confidence and support, Eliza's role shows that there is indeed room to grow, learn, and adapt to a new culture.




    I think this play is a great read today because it still relates to our society on a whole. People find even now, the unfortunate settings up of a class system within North America. It's easy to relate, though the reader may not be the flower seller in the street, they may be the immigrant learning to speak English to gain a job and financial security for example. The role of class structures made this play relevant in reading it in the past, at the present moment, and will continue to make it worth reading in the future.


    In fact, George Bernard Shaw's 1912 play Pygmalion is a near perfect representation of society in general. Although written nearly a full century ago, the differences in class and gender ring true even in today's modern world. Inspired by a myth of ancient Greece, Pygmalion focuses around the unique relationship between two very different individuals, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. Eliza is a poor, uneducated flower seller in the slums of England whereas Higgins is a renowned and quite well off professor of linguistics. The relationship between the two is initiated by each character's own desires for self betterment. Eliza wishes to become "a lady", so as to open her own flower shop and Higgins takes Eliza as a sort of project, hoping to pass her off as a royal duchess simply by improving her English.




    In brief, A story of transformation, or at least the attempt of, Pygmalion proves to be ultimately unsatisfying, despite its sophisticated structure. The main characters of the play come off as hopelessly pathetic, Eliza in her primitive dialect and low social status, and Higgins with his sexist attitude and outspoken opinions. The professor, arguably the protagonist of the play, grows consistently harder to like as the play progresses. He willingly showcases his arrogance and disrespect not only for the opposite sex but for those lower than him. The ending of the play also leaves the reader, or viewer for that matter, with a sense of incompleteness. One naturally expects an epiphany to be had, where the players realize their faults and strive to right them. Such is not the case. Also, the relationship between Eliza and Higgins leads the reader to expect a romance to occur, although once again such is not the case. The play ends arbitrarily leaving the audience to make up their own minds. Although it is reported that Shaw ended his play like this on purpose, as a deliberate attack on the "****** cutter" endings that audiences so easily predicted, the purpose proves to be a failure as far as entertainment goes. Audiences desire a certain degree of closure where loose ends are tied up. However, the dialogue and stage business of Pygmalion is witty and clever, and the message of the play is representative of every person's inner quest for self improvement. And Whether we agree with Shaw or not, we can't deny that the play is a wonderful depiction of reality and romance









    Pygmalion



    Pygmalion is a play written by Bernard Shaw who was born in 1856 in Dublin, Ireland in a lower-Middle class family. "He's an Irish dramatist, literary critic, a socialist spokesman, and a leading figure in the 20th century theater. Shaw was a freethinker, defender of women's rights, and advocate of equality of income. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Shaw accepted the honor but refused the money". (books & writers, [فقط الأعضاء المسجلين والمفعلين يمكنهم رؤية الوصلات . إضغط هنا للتسجيل], 2003).




    This play discusses some vital and crucial issues about social rank, human values and relation between genders. It describes the way in which some people consider they are superior from upper-class, and how they can convert and control people's lives for the reason that they come from a better social class. Pygmalion's theme of equality explains the gender role, also it analysis the developing of the main characters which are used as literacy device to explain ideas and belief, relationships and feeling. The theme of this play is talking about how do the divisions of social classes become an issue in this act? How is class differences embodied in the people's different treatments of the flower girl. How is language related to class divisions?




    This play illustrates the difference and tension between the upper and lower class a basic belief of the period was that a person is born into a class and that no one can move from one class to another. However, Shaw believed that personality isn’t defined by birth. But social change can be achieved if you really believe in yourself (self-confidence). As to the play, the obstacles between classes aren’t natural and can be broken down.




    Pygmalion was written during the period were people demanding for their equal rights, and as for women, their demands was equality in suffrage, education, work. Unfortunately, during that period women kept in a "domestic sphere", they belong to their family, inside their home. On the contrary of men public lives. Women didn't take part in politics, universities (education field) and everything that needed intelligence.




    Shaw believed that the dramatically role is "to force the public to reconsider its morals' (resources book, p199). In Shaw's play Pygmalion, which concentrated on two concepts the social class and gender approach by illustrating the men whom undertake to keep women relaying on them and under their command, but finally he supports the equality and how women should be mindful and should ask to get her rights.


    Shaw created Higgins in order to reflect his ideas. Higgins was phonetic. He effected this amazing transformation by teaching Eliza who came from the class-work society sells flower in the streets, into a lady to speak correctly and beautifully. Higgins was the typical male shows his superiority and to woman, and show how the society's consider of woman. He benefits from Eliza and treated her as an object not as a human being who wants to learn, he makes merciless on of her. His rudeness was clear from the first meeting, like when she said "well, if you were gentlemen, you might ask me to site down, I think. Higgins answered Pickering: Shall we ask this baggage to sit down, or shall we through her out of the window?" (Pygmalion, p 26). Higgins and Pickering made a bet on Eliza by transform her who was cockney speaking into a woman as poised and well spoken as a duchess in a matter of months. He started by having Mrs. Pearce, his housekeeper bathe Eliza and give her new cloth, and getting rid of her old cloth by burning them without taking her opinion. Higgins trained Eliza to speak properly, but he was showing his superiority and power on her, and punishing her when she made mistakes with no sympathy and mercy. He didn't care for Eliza's reputation when his mother asked him on what terms she is staying with them he didn't care he said "well, dash me if I do! I've had to work at the girl every…so forth" (Pygmalion, p. 64-65). On other hand Pickering the linguist of Indian dialects, agreed to cover the costs of the experiment, always treating her like a lady.




    The wager is definitely won, but Higgins and Pickering are now bored with the project, he felt like Eliza as a prize wife who likes to transfer woman to lady duchess, by putting her beside him in a position as if she is an accessories wearing a jewel to let people see what this man made. Higgins focuses upon his task (of passing of Eliza as a duchess) with absolute concentration and objectivity. Higgins and Pickering discussed on how they won and succeeded in their mission which caused Eliza to be hurt although she was the one who made all the work. After succeed, Higgins treated Eliza as a maid by giving her order, like asking for his slippers, and when he told her to switch the lights off. She was confused and angry, she throw Higgins' slipper at him in a rage, he felt threatened by this change and get mad when she talks back and faces him, also she returns him the hired jewelry, were Higgins accused her of ingratiated, he didn't like the way she defended herself, he also didn't like her independence, this proved that he is a male chauvinism that after transforming Eliza as a duchess still treated her bad.




    Eliza can be seen as a morality character as she struggles to achieve spiritual salvation. The play charts Eliza's spiritual journey from illusion to reality or from the darkness of ignorance to the light of self-awareness. She struggles against the varied temptations and finally achieves self-awareness as a human being. She acquires enough independence of spirit, strength of character and maturity of thought to stand up to Higgins and criticize his way of life.




    As for Clara, she was very nervous, when Pickering started talk with her, she start shouting, this shows that the way of thinking of women not only limited in lower class, but also with the middle class, the same as Eliza, who was nervous as well she shouted when Higgins was writing notes she was worried on her integrity, that people might think that she is a prostitute.




    In Pygmalion, Shaw presents the classic theme of drama. Nevertheless, in the Pygmalion narrative as told by Ovid in ****morphoses, was described as having horror for women and he thus decides to remain single. Ovid explains that Pygmalion's revolt for women is due to the behavior of the properties. Yet Pygmalion longs for a feminine ideal and is inspired to sculpture an extremely beautiful woman in ivory and name it Galatea. Upon finishing his marvelous piece of sculpture, he clothes the state with colorful garments and adorns it with jewelry, so he fell in love with the statue. In Shaw's play, Higgins' transforms a common flower girl into a graceful lady, like the sculptor Pygmalion in the Ovidian legend carved a beautiful statue out of shapeless ivory. Higgins effects this amazing transformation by teaching Eliza to speak correctly and beautifully. Shaw didn't like the idea that Higgins might end up marring Eliza, because Higgins only love himself and admire his mother, especially when Higgins suggested that Eliza should marry.




    Shaw was influenced in Shakespeare's play. "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Pygmalion" discusses the theme of equality, Shaw's characters are inspired by Shakespeare, Shaw also criticized his societies treatment of women, he believed in didactic theater which means it can teach us a lesson, also there are similarities in theme, a man accepts the challenge of transforming a woman. Shaw doesn't believe in physical violence or verbal violence, he rejected male domination over women.




    Eliza has been made a lady, regardless of her origins. During that time, the belief that only a man turns a woman into a lady. This is illustrated in Eliza's helplessness and in the way Higgins treats her. The conflict reaches its climax when Higgins suggested that Eliza should marry. As to Eliza's situation, she had to decide between marrying and going out to work, although she was transferred from lower class into higher but still, she should work, to get money.




    However, Eliza begins to rebel against Higgins by throwing the slippers at him. That can be seen as a way of release to the other ladies. Eliza's behavior stands for women who struggled for their rights in those days










    Pygmalion is a play written by Bernard Shaw who was born in 1856 in Dublin, Ireland in a lower-Middle class family. "He's an Irish dramatist, literary critic, a socialist spokesman, and a leading figure in the 20th century theater. Shaw was a freethinker, defender of women's rights, and advocate of equality of income. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Shaw accepted the honor but refused the money". (books & writers, [فقط الأعضاء المسجلين والمفعلين يمكنهم رؤية الوصلات . إضغط هنا للتسجيل], 2003).



    This play discusses some vital and crucial issues about social rank, human values and relation between genders. It describes the way in which some people consider they are superior from upper-class, and how they can convert and control people's lives for the reason that they come from a better social class. Pygmalion's theme of equality explains the gender role, also it analysis the developing of the main characters which are used as literacy device to explain ideas and belief, relationships and feeling. The theme of this play is talking about how do the divisions of social classes become an issue in this act? How is class differences embodied in the people's different treatments of the flower girl. How is language related to class divisions?




    This play illustrates the difference and tension between the upper and lower class a basic belief of the period was that a person is born into a class and that no one can move from one class to another. However, Shaw believed that personality isn’t defined by birth. But social change can be achieved if you really believe in yourself (self-confidence). As to the play, the obstacles between classes aren’t natural and can be broken down.




    Pygmalion was written during the period were people demanding for their equal rights, and as for women, their demands was equality in suffrage, education, work. Unfortunately, during that period women kept in a "domestic sphere", they belong to their family, inside their home. On the contrary of men public lives. Women didn't take part in politics, universities (education field) and everything that needed intelligence.




    Shaw believed that the dramatically role is "to force the public to reconsider its morals' (resources book, p199). In Shaw's play Pygmalion, which concentrated on two concepts the social class and gender approach by illustrating the men whom undertake to keep women relaying on them and under their command, but finally he supports the equality and how women should be mindful and should ask to get her rights.


    Shaw created Higgins in order to reflect his ideas. Higgins was phonetic. He effected this amazing transformation by teaching Eliza who came from the class-work society sells flower in the streets, into a lady to speak correctly and beautifully. Higgins was the typical male shows his superiority and to woman, and show how the society's consider of woman. He benefits from Eliza and treated her as an object not as a human being who wants to learn, he makes merciless on of her. His rudeness was clear from the first meeting, like when she said "well, if you were gentlemen, you might ask me to site down, I think. Higgins answered Pickering: Shall we ask this baggage to sit down, or shall we through her out of the window?" (Pygmalion, p 26). Higgins and Pickering made a bet on Eliza by transform her who was cockney speaking into a woman as poised and well spoken as a duchess in a matter of months. He started by having Mrs. Pearce, his housekeeper bathe Eliza and give her new cloth, and getting rid of her old cloth by burning them without taking her opinion. Higgins trained Eliza to speak properly, but he was showing his superiority and power on her, and punishing her when she made mistakes with no sympathy and mercy. He didn't care for Eliza's reputation when his mother asked him on what terms she is staying with them he didn't care he said "well, dash me if I do! I've had to work at the girl every…so forth" (Pygmalion, p. 64-65). On other hand Pickering the linguist of Indian dialects, agreed to cover the costs of the experiment, always treating her like a lady.




    The wager is definitely won, but Higgins and Pickering are now bored with the project, he felt like Eliza as a prize wife who likes to transfer woman to lady duchess, by putting her beside him in a position as if she is an accessories wearing a jewel to let people see what this man made. Higgins focuses upon his task (of passing of Eliza as a duchess) with absolute concentration and objectivity. Higgins and Pickering discussed on how they won and succeeded in their mission which caused Eliza to be hurt although she was the one who made all the work. After succeed, Higgins treated Eliza as a maid by giving her order, like asking for his slippers, and when he told her to switch the lights off. She was confused and angry, she throw Higgins' slipper at him in a rage, he felt threatened by this change and get mad when she talks back and faces him, also she returns him the hired jewelry, were Higgins accused her of ingratiated, he didn't like the way she defended herself, he also didn't like her independence, this proved that he is a male chauvinism that after transforming Eliza as a duchess still treated her bad.




    Eliza can be seen as a morality character as she struggles to achieve spiritual salvation. The play charts Eliza's spiritual journey from illusion to reality or from the darkness of ignorance to the light of self-awareness. She struggles against the varied temptations and finally achieves self-awareness as a human being. She acquires enough independence of spirit, strength of character and maturity of thought to stand up to Higgins and criticize his way of life.




    As for Clara, she was very nervous, when Pickering started talk with her, she start shouting, this shows that the way of thinking of women not only limited in lower class, but also with the middle class, the same as Eliza, who was nervous as well she shouted when Higgins was writing notes she was worried on her integrity, that people might think that she is a prostitute.




    In Pygmalion, Shaw presents the classic theme of drama. Nevertheless, in the Pygmalion narrative as told by Ovid in ****morphoses, was described as having horror for women and he thus decides to remain single. Ovid explains that Pygmalion's revolt for women is due to the behavior of the properties. Yet Pygmalion longs for a feminine ideal and is inspired to sculpture an extremely beautiful woman in ivory and name it Galatea. Upon finishing his marvelous piece of sculpture, he clothes the state with colorful garments and adorns it with jewelry, so he fell in love with the statue. In Shaw's play, Higgins' transforms a common flower girl into a graceful lady, like the sculptor Pygmalion in the Ovidian legend carved a beautiful statue out of shapeless ivory. Higgins effects this amazing transformation by teaching Eliza to speak correctly and beautifully. Shaw didn't like the idea that Higgins might end up marring Eliza, because Higgins only love himself and admire his mother, especially when Higgins suggested that Eliza should marry.




    Shaw was influenced in Shakespeare's play. "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Pygmalion" discusses the theme of equality, Shaw's characters are inspired by Shakespeare, Shaw also criticized his societies treatment of women, he believed in didactic theater which means it can teach us a lesson, also there are similarities in theme, a man accepts the challenge of transforming a woman. Shaw doesn't believe in physical violence or verbal violence, he rejected male domination over women.




    Eliza has been made a lady, regardless of her origins. During that time, the belief that only a man turns a woman into a lady. This is illustrated in Eliza's helplessness and in the way Higgins treats her. The conflict reaches its climax when Higgins suggested that Eliza should marry. As to Eliza's situation, she had to decide between marrying and going out to work, although she was transferred from lower class into higher but still, she should work, to get money.




    However, Eliza begins to rebel against Higgins by throwing the slippers at him. That can be seen as a way of release to the other ladies. Eliza's behavior stands for women who struggled for their rights in those days














    Pygmalion




    Pygmalion is a play written by Bernard Shaw who was born in 1856 in Dublin, Ireland in a lower-Middle class family. "He's an Irish dramatist, literary critic, a socialist spokesman, and a leading figure in the 20th century theater. Shaw was a freethinker, defender of women's rights, and advocate of equality of income. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Shaw accepted the honor but refused the money". (books & writers, [فقط الأعضاء المسجلين والمفعلين يمكنهم رؤية الوصلات . إضغط هنا للتسجيل], 2003).






    This play discusses some vital and crucial issues about social rank, human values and relation between genders. It describes the way in which some people consider they are superior from upper-class, and how they can convert and control people's lives for the reason that they come from a better social class. Pygmalion's theme of equality explains the gender role, also it analysis the developing of the main characters which are used as literacy device to explain ideas and belief, relationships and feeling. The theme of this play is talking about how do the divisions of social classes become an issue in this act? How is class differences embodied in the people's different treatments of the flower girl. How is language related to class divisions?






    This play illustrates the difference and tension between the upper and lower class a basic belief of the period was that a person is born into a class and that no one can move from one class to another. However, Shaw believed that personality isn’t defined by birth. But social change can be achieved if you really believe in yourself (self-confidence). As to the play, the obstacles between classes aren’t natural and can be broken down.






    Pygmalion was written during the period were people demanding for their equal rights, and as for women, their demands was equality in suffrage, education, work. Unfortunately, during that period women kept in a "domestic sphere", they belong to their family, inside their home. On the contrary of men public lives. Women didn't take part in politics, universities (education field) and everything that needed intelligence.






    Shaw believed that the dramatically role is "to force the public to reconsider its morals' (resources book, p199). In Shaw's play Pygmalion, which concentrated on two concepts the social class and gender approach by illustrating the men whom undertake to keep women relaying on them and under their command, but finally he supports the equality and how women should be mindful and should ask to get her rights.





    Shaw created Higgins in order to reflect his ideas. Higgins was phonetic. He effected this amazing transformation by teaching Eliza who came from the class-work society sells flower in the streets, into a lady to speak correctly and beautifully. Higgins was the typical male shows his superiority and to woman, and show how the society's consider of woman. He benefits from Eliza and treated her as an object not as a human being who wants to learn, he makes merciless on of her. His rudeness was clear from the first meeting, like when she said "well, if you were gentlemen, you might ask me to site down, I think. Higgins answered Pickering: Shall we ask this baggage to sit down, or shall we through her out of the window?" (Pygmalion, p 26). Higgins and Pickering made a bet on Eliza by transform her who was cockney speaking into a woman as poised and well spoken as a duchess in a matter of months. He started by having Mrs. Pearce, his housekeeper bathe Eliza and give her new cloth, and getting rid of her old cloth by burning them without taking her opinion. Higgins trained Eliza to speak properly, but he was showing his superiority and power on her, and punishing her when she made mistakes with no sympathy and mercy. He didn't care for Eliza's reputation when his mother asked him on what terms she is staying with them he didn't care he said "well, dash me if I do! I've had to work at the girl every…so forth" (Pygmalion, p. 64-65). On other hand Pickering the linguist of Indian dialects, agreed to cover the costs of the experiment, always treating her like a lady.






    The wager is definitely won, but Higgins and Pickering are now bored with the project, he felt like Eliza as a prize wife who likes to transfer woman to lady duchess, by putting her beside him in a position as if she is an accessories wearing a jewel to let people see what this man made. Higgins focuses upon his task (of passing of Eliza as a duchess) with absolute concentration and objectivity. Higgins and Pickering discussed on how they won and succeeded in their mission which caused Eliza to be hurt although she was the one who made all the work. After succeed, Higgins treated Eliza as a maid by giving her order, like asking for his slippers, and when he told her to switch the lights off. She was confused and angry, she throw Higgins' slipper at him in a rage, he felt threatened by this change and get mad when she talks back and faces him, also she returns him the hired jewelry, were Higgins accused her of ingratiated, he didn't like the way she defended herself, he also didn't like her independence, this proved that he is a male chauvinism that after transforming Eliza as a duchess still treated her bad.






    Eliza can be seen as a morality character as she struggles to achieve spiritual salvation. The play charts Eliza's spiritual journey from illusion to reality or from the darkness of ignorance to the light of self-awareness. She struggles against the varied temptations and finally achieves self-awareness as a human being. She acquires enough independence of spirit, strength of character and maturity of thought to stand up to Higgins and criticize his way of life.






    As for Clara, she was very nervous, when Pickering started talk with her, she start shouting, this shows that the way of thinking of women not only limited in lower class, but also with the middle class, the same as Eliza, who was nervous as well she shouted when Higgins was writing notes she was worried on her integrity, that people might think that she is a prostitute.






    In Pygmalion, Shaw presents the classic theme of drama. Nevertheless, in the Pygmalion narrative as told by Ovid in ****morphoses, was described as having horror for women and he thus decides to remain single. Ovid explains that Pygmalion's revolt for women is due to the behavior of the properties. Yet Pygmalion longs for a feminine ideal and is inspired to sculpture an extremely beautiful woman in ivory and name it Galatea. Upon finishing his marvelous piece of sculpture, he clothes the state with colorful garments and adorns it with jewelry, so he fell in love with the statue. In Shaw's play, Higgins' transforms a common flower girl into a graceful lady, like the sculptor Pygmalion in the Ovidian legend carved a beautiful statue out of shapeless ivory. Higgins effects this amazing transformation by teaching Eliza to speak correctly and beautifully. Shaw didn't like the idea that Higgins might end up marring Eliza, because Higgins only love himself and admire his mother, especially when Higgins suggested that Eliza should marry.






    Shaw was influenced in Shakespeare's play. "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Pygmalion" discusses the theme of equality, Shaw's characters are inspired by Shakespeare, Shaw also criticized his societies treatment of women, he believed in didactic theater which means it can teach us a lesson, also there are similarities in theme, a man accepts the challenge of transforming a woman. Shaw doesn't believe in physical violence or verbal violence, he rejected male domination over women.






    Eliza has been made a lady, regardless of her origins. During that time, the belief that only a man turns a woman into a lady. This is illustrated in Eliza's helplessness and in the way Higgins treats her. The conflict reaches its climax when Higgins suggested that Eliza should marry. As to Eliza's situation, she had to decide between marrying and going out to work, although she was transferred from lower class into higher but still, she should work, to get money.






    However, Eliza begins to rebel against Higgins by throwing the slippers at him. That can be seen as a way of release to the other ladies. Eliza's behavior stands for women who struggled for their rights in those days
    [/size]


    عدل سابقا من قبل Mr. Mag في الخميس نوفمبر 04, 2010 8:50 am عدل 1 مرات

    Mr. Mag
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    Posts : 503
    Join date : 08/04/2010
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    رد: The reading of Pygmalion

    مُساهمة  Mr. Mag في الخميس نوفمبر 04, 2010 8:46 am


    Discuss the theme of equality in George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. How is this theme dealt with in terms of gender?

    Suggested Answer and Marking Emphasis:

    The student can argue either that George Bernard Shaw is indeed a feminist or a male chauvinist. Allow for arguments on both sides of the spectrum for [truth] is in the eye of the beholder.

    Shaw makes Eliza defy men with her daunting "I am a good girl, I am" echoed repeatedly throughout the play. Here Eliza is defying societal expectations of young women in her position. Shaw's feminism is not only shown in the character of the defiant and feisty flower girl

    but also in the character of Higgins' mother, who does not approve of her son's behaviour. Mrs. Higgins rejects the way men view women. She tells Higgins and Pickering that they are babies playing with a "live doll." Mrs. Higgins' outburst "Oh, men! Men!! Men!!!" at the end of Act Three (p.168) also emphasizes Shaw's dissatisfaction with the doll like image of women. Mrs. Higgins' anger is cleverly shown increasing in intensity with the gradual addition of exclamation marks. Mrs. Higgins' anger parallels Eliza's feminist rage, which is clearly shown in the scene where Eliza throws Higgins' slippers in his face. This represents quite a remarkable reversal in Eliza's poor girl servant attitude, but somehow the reader is not really surprised because Eliza possesses a defiant spirit at the outset of the play. Shaw is also true to his feminism when he refuses to end the play with the traditional marriage of the hero and heroine. Allowing for a marriage between Higgins and Eliza would mean that Shaw has succumbed to the conventions of society which he has set out to question. Higgins is a domineering character and would definitely dominate in a marriage with Eliza. In this case, Eliza would have been put back into her "proper" place so to speak. This, of course, would have meant that Shaw was denying any form of equality between men and women, in addition to maintaining that a woman's place was in the home. By allowing Eliza to marry Freddy in the "epilogue," however, Shaw is indeed reversing the situation between men and women and turning things upside down in his usual style. Freddy would be fetching Eliza's slippers, not vice versa. Surprisingly, it is Higgins who sounds the ultimate feminist call in the play when he tells Eliza in Act Five, "I think a woman fetching a man's slippers is a disgusting sight: did I ever fetch your slippers? I think a good deal more of you for throwing them in my face. No use slaving for me and then saying you want to be cared for: who cares for a slave?" (p. 100). While Higgins vocalizes these thoughts in the play, it is hard to imagine him actually putting them into practice in a marriage with Eliza, for example. She would forever be fetching his slippers.

    Another interesting point to consider is that Eliza's supposed reformation comes at the hands of men. It does not come from within. Higgins claims in Act Five: "By George, Eliza, I said that I'd make a woman of you; and I have" (p. 104). Both Higgins' and Pickerings' attitudes presuppose woman under the male gaze. Is there a counter argument provided in the play? Can anybody dispute Higgins' claim? Arguing that it is not Higgins who changes Eliza, but Pickering, who treats her like a lady and teaches her self respect, does not put an end to the debate. Pickering is as much of a man as Higgins; the creator is still male, whether the artist shaping the doll/sculpture is the gentle Pickering or the harsh Higgins. Shaw's chauvinism is clear—only man can reform woman. We are back to where we started; without man, there is no woman. So, is Shaw really calling for the equality of women in Pygmalion

    Mr. Mag
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    رد: The reading of Pygmalion

    مُساهمة  Mr. Mag في الخميس نوفمبر 04, 2010 8:47 am

    The student can argue either that George Bernard Shaw is indeed a feminist or a male chauvinist. Allow for arguments on both sides of the spectrum for [truth] is in the eye of the beholder.

    Shaw makes Eliza defy men with her daunting "I am a good girl, I am" echoed repeatedly throughout the play. Here Eliza is defying societal expectations of young women in her position. Shaw's feminism is not only shown in the character of the defiant and feisty flower girl

    but also in the character of Higgins' mother, who does not approve of her son's behaviour. Mrs. Higgins rejects the way men view women. She tells Higgins and Pickering that they are babies playing with a "live doll." Mrs. Higgins' outburst "Oh, men! Men!! Men!!!" at the end of Act Three (p.168) also emphasizes Shaw's dissatisfaction with the doll like image of women. Mrs. Higgins' anger is cleverly shown increasing in intensity with the gradual addition of exclamation marks. Mrs. Higgins' anger parallels Eliza's feminist rage, which is clearly shown in the scene where Eliza throws Higgins' slippers in his face. This represents quite a remarkable reversal in Eliza's poor girl servant attitude, but somehow the reader is not really surprised because Eliza possesses a defiant spirit at the outset of the play. Shaw is also true to his feminism when he refuses to end the play with the traditional marriage of the hero and heroine. Allowing for a marriage between Higgins and Eliza would mean that Shaw has succumbed to the conventions of society which he has set out to question. Higgins is a domineering character and would definitely dominate in a marriage with Eliza. In this case, Eliza would have been put back into her "proper" place so to speak. This, of course, would have meant that Shaw was denying any form of equality between men and women, in addition to maintaining that a woman's place was in the home. By allowing Eliza to marry Freddy in the "epilogue," however, Shaw is indeed reversing the situation between men and women and turning things upside down in his usual style. Freddy would be fetching Eliza's slippers, not vice versa. Surprisingly, it is Higgins who sounds the ultimate feminist call in the play when he tells Eliza in Act Five, "I think a woman fetching a man's slippers is a disgusting sight: did I ever fetch your slippers? I think a good deal more of you for throwing them in my face. No use slaving for me and then saying you want to be cared for: who cares for a slave?" (p. 100). While Higgins vocalizes these thoughts in the play, it is hard to imagine him actually putting them into practice in a marriage with Eliza, for example. She would forever be fetching his slippers.

    Another interesting point to consider is that Eliza's supposed reformation comes at the hands of men. It does not come from within. Higgins claims in Act Five: "By George, Eliza, I said that I'd make a woman of you; and I have" (p. 104). Both Higgins' and Pickerings' attitudes presuppose woman under the male gaze. Is there a counter argument provided in the play? Can anybody dispute Higgins' claim? Arguing that it is not Higgins who changes Eliza, but Pickering, who treats her like a lady and teaches her self respect, does not put an end to the debate. Pickering is as much of a man as Higgins; the creator is still male, whether the artist shaping the doll/sculpture is the gentle Pickering or the harsh Higgins. Shaw's chauvinism is clear—only man can reform woman. We are back to where we started; without man, there is no woman. So, is Shaw really calling for the equality of women in Pygmalion

      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو الخميس ديسمبر 08, 2016 6:07 pm