Pygmalion And My Fair Lady Analysis

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Author Stephen King once said, “Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.” Stephen King’s quote about the difference between books and movies exemplifies the contrast between the play, Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw, and the movie adaptation, My Fair Lady. Although both highlight the importance of phonetics and the teacher-student relationship that Henry and Eliza share, the alterations of the characters in the movie make it highly unrealistic. Henry Higgins exhibits aristocratic qualities and holds a prominent role in English society in the play, but his character in the film comes across as deluded, which undermines his elite status. Similarly, Eliza Doolittle, the protagonist, allows Henry …show more content…
In the play, Henry and Eliza exhibit more of a teacher-student relationship as exemplified by Higgins ' attempt to teach Eliza the alphabet," 'Eliza say A, B, C, D. ' '[almost in tears] But I 'm saying it. Ahyee, Ba-yee, Ca-yee” (Shaw 51). Here and throughout the play, Higgins focusses on developing Eliza’s linguistic skills and proving his brilliance as a professor rather than developing any other relationship with her. In fact, throughout the play Higgins belittles Eliza’s status and treats her disrespectfully making the notion of a romantic relationship almost impossible. However, the events the lead up to the climax of the movie suggest the development of a romantic relationship between both characters. The enfolding romance between Higgins and Eliza can be seen when Higgins speaks of Eliza and says, "I 've grown accustomed to her face. She almost makes the day begin... I 've grown accustomed to her smiles and frowns" (Lady 2:44). This song betrays Higgins true emotions as he expresses his fondness for Eliza. The play, in comparison, ends on a much different note, as Higgins sarcastically exclaims, “she 's going to marry Freddy. Ha ha! Freddy! (Shaw 105). Hence, the ending of the play does not suggest the development of any new emotions amongst its characters. All in all, the film’s Hollywood ending modifies the relationship between the play’s key characters by hinting towards a romance between Eliza Doolittle and Henry

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