Appearance and Identity Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Pygmalion, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Shaw's play explores aspects of language in a variety of ways. Higgins and Pickering study linguistics and phonetics, taking note of how people from different backgrounds speak differently.
Paul's Church during a heavy summer rain immediately after a theatrical performance has let out. All types and levels of society are huddled here to avoid the rain.
Eynsford-Hill is complaining to her daughter Clara that her son Freddy has been gone an intolerably long time in search of a cab. When he suddenly returns with the announcement that there is not a cab to be had for love nor money, they reprimand him for not trying other places and quickly send him off to try again in another direction.
As Freddy reopens his umbrella and dashes off, he accidentally collides with a flower girl, who is hurrying for shelter, and knocks over her basket of flowers. In a heavy, almost incomprehensible, Cockney accent, she familiarly calls him by his name Freddy and tells him to watch where he is going.
She then sits and begins to rearrange her flowers, mumbling to herself about the carelessness of such people who knock others about. Eynsford-Hill, who has heard the entire episode, is consumed with curiosity as to how this low-class, badly dressed ragamuffin with such a dreadful accent could possibly know her son well enough to call him by his first name.
The flower girl Liza or Eliza asks, first, if the lady will pay for the flowers that Freddy just ruined, and against Clara's objections, Mrs. Eynsford-Hill pays the girl generously and then learns that Eliza merely calls all strangers either Freddy or Charlie.
At this moment, "an elderly gentleman of the amiable military type" rushes in for shelter. Eliza immediately tries to sell him some flowers, but he refuses because he has nothing smaller than a "sovereign. Suddenly, a bystander warns the flower girl to be careful because there is a stranger who is taking down everything she says.
Frightened that she might be accused of soliciting for immoral purposes, Eliza loudly maintains her right to sell flowers "if I keep off the kerb.
Eliza wants to see what he has written, and when she can't read the "shorthand," he reads off what he has written. It is an exact Cockney phonetic rendition of her own speech patterns.
At this point, the elderly gentleman Colonel Pickering and others take the girl's side, and as the group begins to talk to the notetaker, he Professor Higgins begins to identify where each of the speakers was born and where they live.
He can even identify their locality inside the city of London. Eynsford-Hill complains about the weather, the notetaker Higgins points out that the rain has stopped, and everyone disperses except the gentleman Colonel Pickering and the flower girl Eliza.
When the gentleman inquires about the notetaker's talents, he discloses that he is a student of phonetics; in fact, his profession is teaching wealthy people who aspire to climb the social ladder to speak properly.
While he explains his profession, Eliza continually makes unutterable, horrible sounds, even though Higgins constantly tells her to cease making these "detestable" noises; he then brags that "in three months I could pass that girl off as a duchess at an ambassador's garden party.
It turns out that Pickering came to England to meet Higgins, and that Higgins was about to embark on a journey to India to meet Pickering. As they are about to leave together to discuss their mutual interests, Eliza interrupts with a plea for money saying, "I'm short for my lodging.
At this point, Freddy Eynsford-Hill returns with a cab, but doesn't know what to do with it since everyone has left. Eliza, thanks to the sudden windfall of money from Higgins, engages the cab to take her home, leaving Freddy alone and perplexed.
Analysis Pygmalion is perhaps Shaw's most famous play and, ironically, it is among his most abused and misinterpreted ones. Almost everyone knows the basic outlines of this story of the Cockney flower girl who is almost magically transformed into a duchess by taking speech phonetic lessons from her famous professor.
The abuse comes partly from the fact that Shaw subtitled his play, "A Romance. In fact, one advertisement claims that the play is one of the most "beautiful love stories" that the world has ever read.
Yet, as noted elsewhere, Shaw used the term "romance" in its more restricted form, meaning the implausibility of actually transforming a flower girl into a grand duchess by the simple means of using phonetic instruction. Yet, in spite of Shaw's own pronouncements and in spite of all the evidence in the play, readers and audiences still continue to sentimentalize over the outcome of the play and refuse to recognize the anti-romantic aspect of the drama.
The opening scene of the drama captures many of the diverse elements running throughout the play. Brought together by the common necessity of protection from a sudden downpour, such diverse types as the impoverished middle-class Eynsford-Hills, with their genteel pretensions and disdain, a wealthy Anglo-Indian gentleman Colonel Pickeringwho seems quite tolerant, a haughty egotistical professor Higginswho seems exceptionally intolerant, an indistinct group of nondescript bystanders, and a pushy, rude flower girl who embodies the essence of vulgarity gather.A summary of Act II in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.
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A rousing success on the London and New York stages, a popular film, and a great musical hit (My Fair Lady), this brilliantly written play, with its irresistible Free shipping over $ The way that people talk depends on where they come from and where they belong in their society.
Other people notice -- and evaluate -- ways of talking that are different from their own: in the () preface to his play Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw wrote that "[i]t is impossible for an Englishman.
Pygmalion - Bernard Shaw What does Pygmalion tell us about language, speech and accent? Pygmalion explained how important the way you speak, or your accent, is.
Pygmalion tell us about language, speech and accent? Pygmalion explained how important the way you speak, or your accent, is. One of the main characters, Elise, realizes this after an encounter with Professor Henry Higgins, who studies languages and teaches phonetics, and Colonel Pickering.
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Pygmalion, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Shaw's play explores aspects of language in a variety of ways. Higgins and Pickering study linguistics and phonetics, taking note of how .