German and Spanish are accessible to foreigners: English is not accessible even to Englishmen.― George Bernard Shaw
Why I’m Reading this Book?
Pygmalion is a very known play written by George Bernard Shaw. As usual with a play, it’s small and since it has been adapted in musical and movies, it’s no doubt a good one. So I set aside my reservation of plays (I don’t quite enjoy them) and decided to read this one.
Play is about a phonetic expert Mr. Higgins who teaches a flower girl; Eliza, proper way of speaking English to win a bet with a Col. Pickering. He claims that just by changing her speaking manner, she can pass off as a duchess.
This play is named after a Greek mythological figure, who professed that he is not interested in women but fell in love with one of his sculptures. He prayed Goddess Aphrodite for a woman like his sculpture and she granted his wish, his carved art has become a woman named Galatea. Pygmalion married her and they live happily ever after.
In the play, Story’s main character Eliza comes across phonetic expert Mr. Higgins. Eliza is a flower girl and speaks in corrupt English as quite prevalent in lower class of British Society. Mr. Higgins takes a bet with Col. Pickering that he could teach a flower girl to pass off as a duchess by merely changing the way she speaks. And then he sets on working on it. In his crusade, he treats Eliza as a tool to winning his bet and finally wins the bet , but Eliza is human and not much happy with his attitude towards her. Her irritation is lost on Mr. Higgins because as per him his behavior was exemplary. The fact of the matter is Mr Higgins is an old bachelor and kind of anti-social and too much involved in his field of study that makes him incapable of having any proper relationship with a girl. But Eliza after spending so much time with him and being ‘carved’ by him is infatuated and wants his attention in a way he is incapable of. But now Eliza is also a ‘Lady’ and have many options in her life. So, in the end, will she choose Mr. Higgins and be miserable for rest of her life, or will she choose someone who can reciprocates her love and respect?
In this play Mr Higgins is Pygmalion but his Galatea has a choice to accept or reject him. Play is full of humor and Shaw has made quite a lot of fun with different accents of English speaker. Mr Higgins as a phonetic Nazi is a very amusing character and all other characters are suitably placed for their contribution to this story. I was pleased to see Eliza as a strong and witty girl and not a sniveling heroine in a romance story. Overall, it was a treat to read this play.
My Rating — 3
On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)
Why anyone else should read this Book?
It’s a play and very small to read. Total read time is 2-3 hours.
Play is full of rich humor. Throughout my reading, I had a smile on my face. You can never have too much humor in your life.
This play is adapted into various musical and very famous movie, ‘My fair lady’. For something to be adapted to so many art forms, it has to be very good. This play enjoyed the reputation of very successful since it’s inception. So, you can’t go wrong with it.
So, read this modern day Pygmalion, have a laugh or two and let me know who was your favorite character.
Wear the mask, Stay home, Stay Safe!!!
Have you read it? Are you planning to? What is your opinion? Share them here. Till next time, Happy Reading Folks!!!