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Pygmalion Film Versus Play Essay

1061 words - 4 pages

George Bernard Shaw author of Pygmalion the play and Pygmalion the screenplay offers two different endings to his story. The distinction between the two accounts lies in Eliza's decision to pursue an intimate relationship with either Freddy, as depicted in the play or Higgins as represented in the screenplay. Because of Higgins' mere interest in Eliza as a subject of study and the insensitive attitude he conveys towards her, it is unlikely that Eliza would want to develop an intimate relationship with Higgins. The play ending of Pygmalion is thus, more feasible than the screenplay ending.Henry Higgins fails to treat Eliza in a compassionate manner. Higgins' insensitivity towards Eliza is explicitly depicted throughout Pygmalion via a combination of the callous comments he expresses and his utter disregard for Eliza's feelings. Due to the inconsiderate behaviour that Higgins conveys with respect to Eliza, it is implausible that Eliza would develop an intimate relationship with Higgins.Act II of Pygmalion meticulously portrays Higgins' heartless attitude towards Eliza. When Eliza arrives at Higgins House to inquire about talking lessons, she is greeted with abrasive hostility from the professor. As soon as Eliza is ushered inside, Higgins abruptly recognizes her with unconcealed disappointment and immediately behaves as if her mere presence was an intolerable grievance (13). Higgins then proceeds to engage in boorish conversation with Eliza, subjecting her to humiliating derision. Over the course of discussion, Higgins persistently brands Eliza with debasing insults calling her baggage, so deliciously low "" so horribly dirt, a draggletailed guttersnipe, and an ungrateful wicked girl (14, 16, 18). In addition, Higgins degrades Eliza by threatening to throw her out the window, put her in the dustbin, make her sleep among black beetles and wallop her with the broomstick (14, 17, 20). The barrage of insults and threats directed on Eliza cause her to shriek in trepidation and conceive of Higgins as a brute (18).Higgins expresses no sympathy for Eliza's emotions. Unsettled by Higgins' blatantly inconsiderate behaviour towards Eliza, Cornel Pickering asks, "Does it occur to you, Higgins, that the girl has some feelings?" To which, Higgins imprudently replies, "Oh no, I dont think so. Not any feelings that we need worry about". In addition, when Eliza responds protesting that she does have emotions, which ought to be respected, Higgins uncompromisingly ignores her (18).Act IV of Pygmalion further reveals Higgins' insensitive attitude towards Eliza. As Cornel Pickering and Higgins discuss the night's events after successfully passing off Eliza as a duchess at the ambassador's garden party, Higgins (in the presence of Eliza) describes the whole experiment with Eliza was a tremendous burden. Higgins thanks God that it's all over, asserting that teaching Eliza "has been a bore" and "simple purgatory" (48, 49). Moreover, Higgins communicates satisfaction in...

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