Pygmalion and Galatea and Flower Girl
The Source of the Title: The Legend of Pygmalion and Galatea Shaw took his title from the ancient Greek legend of the famous sculptor named Pygmalion who could find nothing good in women, and, as a result, he resolved to live out his life unmarried. However, he carved a statue out of ivory that was so beautiful and so perfect that he fell in love with his own creation. Indeed, the statue was so perfect that no living being could possibly be its equal. Consequently, at a festival, he prayed to the goddess of love, Aphrodite, that he might have the statue come to life.
When e reached home, to his amazement, he found that his wish had been fulfilled, and he proceeded to marry the statue, which he named Galatea Pygmalion Major Characters: ELiza a poor girl who was thrown out by her parents as soon as she was old enough to make a living selling flowers on the street Eliza Doolittle the same person as Liza; what she begins to be called when she acquires a genteel accent and set of manners under Higgins’s tutelage Henry Higgins a professor of phonetics who takes on Liza as a pupil as a dare, or as an experiment Colonial Pickering an Englishman who has served in India and written in the field of linguistics there; a erfect gentleman who always treats Liza with utmost kindness Mrs. Higgins Henry’s mother, who disapproves of her son’s wild ways and who takes Liza under her wing Mrs.
Pearce Higgins’s housekeeper: an extremely proper and class-aware lady, she heartily disapproves of the experiment Freddy a poor, genteel young man who falls in love with Eliza Clara Freddy’s sister, who regards Higgins as marriageable Mrs. Eynsford Hill Freddy’s and Clara’s mother Mr. Doolittle Liza’s father, who amuses Higgins very much; he comes into a fortune after the death of an American millionaire to whom Higgins had recommended him Act One Act I Summary It Is raining In Covent Garden at 1 1 p. m. Clara complains that Freddy has not found a cab yet. Freddy returns to his mother and sister and explains that there are no cabs to be found.
They chide him, and as he runs off to try again to find a cab, he knocks into Liza, a flower girl, spilling her flowers into the mud. Freddy’s mother gives her sixpence when she complains that her flowers are ruined. Colonel Pickering comes onstage, and Liza tries to sell him a flower. He gives her three hapence. A bystander advises Liza to give Pickering a flower for It, because there Is a man behind a pillar taking down every word that she says. Liza becomes hysterical, claiming that she has done nothing wrong. She thinks that he is an informant for the police. The man, Hlgglns, snows Llza wnat ne nas written–wnlcn Is not a recoro 0T posslDle misdeeds.
When she complains that she cannot read it, he reads it out to her, reproducing what she has said in her exact accent. Higgins amuses the small crowd that has gathered when he listens to what they say and guesses their hometowns with exactitude. Higgins whistles for a taxi for Clara and her mother, and they exit. Liza picks her flowers out of the mud while Higgins explains to Pickering that he is ble to guess where people are from because he studies phonetics. To make money, he gives lessons to millionaires to improve their English, which allows them to be accepted in higher social milieus. When Higgins finds out that Pickering has been in India and is the writer of [l]Spoken Sanskrit, he exclaims that he was planning to travel to India to meet the man.
Pickering is equally excited when he realizes that he has happened upon the creator of “Higgins’s Universal Alphabet”–for he has traveled from India to meet Higgins. They arrange to have dinner together. Liza makes a last- itch effort to sell Pickering some flowers, claiming that she is short for her rent. Having recorded what she was saying, Higgins points out that she cannot be short for her rent because she said she had change for half a crown. (His record traps her in her own words after all. ) Liza flings her basket at him in desperation. Higgins hears a church bell tolling and generously fills her basket with money anyway, before leaving with Pickering.
Freddy arrives in a cab, looking for his mother and sister. He does not know what to do with the cab when he realizes that they have left already, but Liza ants to take the cab home. The cabman looks doubtful at her ragged appearance, but she shows him her money before she gets in. Comprehension Questions: 1. How important is Act I in the play? Besides introducing the major characters of the play, this act is carefully constructed to portray a representative slice of society, in which characters from very much different classes of society who would normally be separate are brought together by unusual weather. 2. What purpose does the rain shower serve?
It brings together different social classes under the shelter from the storm. Otherwise, Eliza and Higgins would never have met. 3. How do the mother and the daughter treat Freddy? Provide a quote to support your answer. They chide ( criticize or blame )him. The hapless (unfortunate) Son is forced by his demanding sister and mother to go out into the rain to find a taxi even though there is none to be found. “Well, havent you got a cab” “it’s tiresome. Do you expect us to go and get one ourselves? ” ” you really are very helpless, Freddy. Go again and dont come back until you have found a cap. ” “Are we to stay here all night in this draught, with next to nothing on. You selfish pig” . Why did Mrs.
Eynsford ( The mother ) feel suspicious when she hears Eliza ( The flower Girl ) talking to her son ,Freddy? Because she heard Eliza addressing her son “Freddy’ 5. What did Mrs. Eynsford do to find out how Eliza knew her son? What does this now’ I ne motner gives tne Flower Glrl money to ask now sne Knew ner son’s name. She paid her sixpence. This shows the Mother’s fear that her son might be associating ( connecting )with the wrong sort. 6. How did Eliza Justify calling Freddy by his name? She pointed out that she used ” Freddy’ by chance as a typical name for a young man about a town. A name she would have used to address anyone. 7. What is the note taker writing down? What amazing ability does he have?
He was taking notes of whatever Eliza said. His notes turn out to be written in phonetic symbols. He said he can identify speakers’ places of origin from their pronunciation. 8. The note taker is assumed to be of what profession? What actually is his profession? He is assumed to be a detective ( police informer )because he is taking notes. He is actually a professor of languages. (linguist) showed Liza what he had written–which is not a record of possible misdeeds. 9. When did Eliza become hysterical? When a bystander advises ELiza to give Pickering a flower for the little money he had given her , because there is a man taking down every word that she says.
She thought he was an informer for the police (undercover cop). Liza became hysterical, claiming that she has done nothing wrong. 10. What does the note taker say about a “woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds”? She has no right to be anywhere, not even a right to live. 11. Higgins demonstrated his skill as a linguistic scholar and tutor . Explain. He boasts of his ability to teach people from lower class origin to talk like ladies and gentlemen. 12. The note taker brags about what he could do for the flower girl within three months. What does he claim? – What does Higgins brag he can do with Eliza He could pass her off as a duchessaҐgs at the Embassy Ball.
He was so skillful in his profession. 13. A bystander defends the note taker by saying, “It’s aw rawt, e’s a gentleman: look at his boots. ” What does this observation signify about social class and crime? 14. What did Higgins do for a living? To make money, Higgins gives lessons to millionaires to improve their English, which allows them to be accepted in higher social environment. 15. Who takes the cab Freddy brings? Why? Eliza does. Higgins has given her money, and she feels rich. 16 wnat ao Hlgglns ana PlcKerlng nave In common? They are both acutely interested in languages. The two men introduce themselves. They’re both well-respected linguists.
The note- taker is Henry Higgins, teacher of phonetics, the old guy an expert on the dead Indian language Sanskrit. They realize they have long wanted to meet each other. 17. What clues indicate that Eliza dreams of greater things? Provide a quote to support your answer. Liza picks up the money Higgins had thrown down before leaving and for once she treats herself to a taxi ride home. Never you mind, young man. I’m going home in a taxi”. ” Eightpence ain’t no object to me, ” Comment on the following quotations: 1. ” It’s too tiresome. Do you expect us to go and get one ourselves? ” ( Clara To Freddy) Clara complains that Freddy has not found a cab yet.