Pygmalion & My Fair Lady
The play Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, the musical, are the same story. The only major difference between the two, is that My Fair Lady has songs added to the dialogue. I believe the musical version is more enjoyable because the music adds more feeling to the story.
The opening scene is after an opera. The higher class people spill out into the streets. It is here that Eliza is selling her flowers. Eliza is a poor girl with a very thick accent. She is a respectable girl, which she insist throughout the movie, saying to Mr. Higgins, Im a good girl. Shes had a hard life, her father being a drunk and therefore she and her mother had no money. It is hard for her to get a job because of her accent, so she resorts to selling flowers. She is always wishing for more out of life.
Professor Higgins hears her talking and starts taking notes of her speech. Eliza assumes that she is in trouble and causes a commotion, professing that she did nothing wrong. The professor explains himself. In the musical he sings a song, Why Cant The English Learn To Speak?Mr. Higgins is a professor of phonetics. He has an almost mean attitude towards everyone. He is only interested in his works, hes pretty self-centered.
Colonel Pickering came from England to meet Mr. Higgins and observed
whole ordeal with Eliza. Colonel and Higgins begin talking, when Higgins says that he could take Eliza and turn her into a duchess. Eliza takes this seriously and goes to Higgins house the day after. She is there to take lessons for her speech. Colonel Pickering offers to pay full expenses for Higgins to tun Eliza into a lady and pass her off as a duchess. Higgins accepts.
After long, excruciating lessons, Eliza starts to get it and begins to talk in perfect English. Now, its time to try her newly learned skills. In the play, Higgins takes her to his mothers house, while in the musical he takes her to the Ascot Races. Here they learn that she may speak perfectly, but she still can revert to her flower girl ways. This is where Freddy Eynsford-Hills falls in love with Eliza. Elizas father is forced into Middle Class after he inherits a large sum of money.
Mr. Higgins work on Eliza is finally put to the test at the ball. She was so charming that the Prince asked her to a dance. A Hungarian linguistics professor, who Higgins taught, was present at the ball to find out who was the phony. After avoiding him most of the night, Higgins offers Eliza to dance with him. He thinks that Eliza is Hungarian because she speaks English so well.
Professor Higgins won the bet. After they get home, Colonel Pickering and Higgins congratulate each other without a single thank you to Eliza. Eliza becomes furious and leaves the house to meet Freddy outside. She goes back to where she used to live, but nobody recognized her, so she went to Higgins
mothers house. Higgins went to his mothers to find Eliza there with his mother. Eliza says that she can survive without Higgins and at that moment, he realizes that she has truly become a lady.
I think that language is a very important part of our society, whether it should be or not, is another question. Some people seem to judge ones first appearance and they dont look past what they see. Mr. Higgins never saw Eliza as more than a flower girl, even though she had been a lady all along. Language is a powerful thing, it can make you a duchess or a flower girl, a bum or a high society gentleman…or at least appear to be.