Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion

byGeorge Bernard Shaw

Kobo ebook | January 1, 2009

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In George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion a phonetician believes the power of speech is such that he can introduce a Cockney flower girl to polite society after careful language and etiquette training, and no one will discern her true roots. The professor and the flower girl grown close, but after her successful debut she rejects the professor and his overbearing ways for a poor gentleman. The most famous adaptation of the play is the 1964 film My Fair Lady, starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.
Title:PygmalionFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:January 1, 2009Publisher:The Floating PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1775411982

ISBN - 13:9781775411987

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Customer Reviews of Pygmalion

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pygmalion: A Twentieth Century Classic Pygmalion, the 1912 play written by the honorable George Bernard Shaw, represents how exquisite and influential his work is. The five act play takes the reader through the lives of very well developed characters. The two main ones, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, possess very strong willed personalities. Eliza is a lower class girl who has a dream of opening her own flower shop. To do so, she seeks out the help of Henry, a phonetician, to teach her proper English. It becomes evident early on that the two have very differing personalities which leads to invariable conflict between them. It is a story that reflects how influential language was in England during that time. Furthermore, we see how one’s identity is perceived and constructed by external factors such as wealth, class, manners, and possessions. Throughout the play, we see how Eliza struggles to create a new identity for herself through the use of language. She endures many pitfalls and triumphs to attain her ideal self. She is a relatable character as she reflects how mistakes must be made and obtaining one’s goals is never an easy feat. I felt empowered by her when she stood up for herself during a time when females were inferior. On the other hand, Henry is an advantaged, unsympathetic man who treats others with little or no respect, but, we get to appreciate him as a character through his great wittiness and sense of humor. Pygmalion is an easy read and holds one’s attention once started; the paths that the characters take, and the relationship dynamics that Shaw creates would persuade anyone to read it.
Date published: 2005-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Shaw's masterpiece Shaw’s Pygmalion is a real masterpiece. This great piece of literature is very similar to the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. Shaw’s Pygmalion is a story of human relationships in a social context. This relationship happens between two very different individuals. Highly educated professor from a high class family with a poor flower girl. He tries to teach her the right way of speaking like a real lady and she tries to learn it because of her love to him, the feeling that he never had towards her. His goal was to teach her to be a real lady and her feelings towards him were meaningless to him. What is very interesting in this story is the strange comparison that Shaw tried to show between his Pygmalion and the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea where almost every thing is totally opposite. The role of the loved and the lover. The creator in Shaw’s Pygmalion was Professor Higgins who made a real lady out of the poor flower girl, Eliza. Eliza who felt deeply in love with Higgins with out him notices her feelings. Where in the Greek myth of Pygmalion, the creator was Pygmalion a sculptor who created a statue, Galatea who he felt in love with. His love and the help of the Goddess finally transformed the statue in to a real ivory, Galatea. This time the creator felts in love with his creation where in Shaw’s Pygmalion it was the creation who felt in love with the creator. This beautifully structured story is for sure worth reading.
Date published: 2005-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Review of Pygmalion Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is set in London, England during the height of its imperial power at the beginning of the 20th century. The story is of an ugly duckling (Eliza Doolittle), who is transformed into a swan by climbing the social ladder of London society with the help of Henry Higgins. Eliza Doolittle is a dirty flower girl when the reader first meets her. When she is picked up by Professor Henry Higgins, a renowned pathologist, her transformation begins. Higgins believe that a person can be transformed from a street wonderer to a Duchess by correcting her speech. The characters in the book are lively and believable although the plot is not. A person could not be transformed by only changing her speech. As Mrs. Higgins tells her son Eliza is “a triumph of your art and of her dressmaker’s”; therefore, it is not by Higgins’ effort alone that Eliza has become a social elite. However, the stubbornness and determination that allowed Eliza to become an accomplished social bureaucrat is admirable. Her experience as a flower girl influences her to be an independent-minded woman through her transformation. Eliza is depicted as a self-sufficient woman. She wants to know what she “may take away with (her).” She can support herself without the help of others, which is different from all other women in the higher class. The character of Henry Higgins is quite arrogant. Every phrase he uses to describe Eliza. The play shows how he is “deliciously low” by the way that he treats Eliza, who is below his station. Higgins is almost as determined as Eliza in transforming her into a social elite. The project overtakes his daily life. He spent day and night “watching her lips and her teeth and her tongue.” He was solely immersed into his “project.” Pygmalion is a delightful play, displaying the Cinderella complex. The dynamic between Eliza and Higgins shows how their background and history influences their view on life. For example, Higgins think that a girl ought to be married but Eliza, being selling flowers since she was a girl, believes that women can be just as independent as men. Throughout the play, Shaw shows the sacrifices Eliza has to make in order to climb up the social ladder. The play is funny, frustrating, and inspiring at times and it shows how every situation has its rewards and hardship.
Date published: 2005-12-01