WEEKLY WONDER: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (#22)

Hey everyone!

Welcome to Weekly Wonder where we attempt to add to your TBRs.

This week’s Wonder is:

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw Play Book Cover

PYGMALION BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

SO, WHAT’S UP WITH THE STORY?

 Professor of Phonetics, Henry Higgins is so good at his field of study that he can determine which street in London an individual lives in just on the basis of his accent, or so he claims. When he meets an expert of his own standing, Colonel Pickering, who has travelled all the way from India to meet him, a bet is made between the two to the effect that Higgins can pass a lowly flower girl, Eliza off as a Duchess merely by teaching her to speak properly. For Eliza, this is a chance to better her life. But will they be able to do it? Read the book to find out!


A GLIMPSE BETWEEN THE PAGES

“If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.”

“Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby”

“I can’t turn your soul on. Leave me those feelings; and you can take away the voice and the face. They are not you.”

“I sold flowers. I didn’t sell myself. Now you’ve made a lady of me I’m not fit to sell anything else.”

The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.”


WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT

  • This movie:
  • The way it deals with class issues in a vivid but not forced way.
  • Shaw incorporates his “Man and Superman” theory into the work
  • Shaw is one playwright in whose case every story puts forth the same themes but in radically different ways
  • The “street-smart” resourceful character of Eliza
  • The reference to story of Pygmalion and Galatea from Greek Mythology is rather subtle. The title features pygmalion but the story makes no direct reference to the story but parallels it nonetheless. A reader who is not familiar with the story would enjoy the book but be left confused with regards to the title whereas a reader who is will not fail to miss the obvious comparison and enjoy it all the more.
  • Shaw puts the mysogynistic Pygmalion in his place
  • I personally do not like the match for Eliza at the ending, (I’m trying not to give spoilers) but Shaw has the ability to make me understand his reasons for doing so and make me tolerate it at the least.

I hope you all like the book!

Let me know what you think of it! Please use spoiler tags wherever relevant.

Happy Reading!

Jeannie

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