BOOKLIGHT: Pygmalion


Julianna Norris

Pygmalion was written by George Bernard Shaw and influenced My Fair Lady.

Myranda Mamat, Staff Writer

Almost everyone knows the musical story My Fair Lady in some context: a rich man takes home a poor girl and shows her how to be in high class society and the girl falls in love with someone. But there is always a catch – the man makes a bet with his friend that she will pass as an aristocrat…you get the gist.

In reality My Fair Lady is based off of the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The play, published in 1913, was named after a Greek myth.¬†Although the story wasn’t about the Greeks, it did leave the outline for stories to come centuries afterward.

The play based in London describes how Professor Higgins takes in a cockney speaking flower girl named Eliza Doolittle, to win a bet against his friend Colonel Pickering that he can convince the high society of London that this girl as well spoken Duchess. For a number of months Higgins trains Eliza in the ways of high society and is able to convince everyone that she is of the upper crust. Higgins now become bored that the bet is now won and Eliza becomes enraged from his ingratitude.

The play is truly witty and touches on feminism during a time where society had seen no role for women at all in life besides being a wife. The play also resonates with everyone who reads it because they can think of thousands of movies or books that had taken the same spin on it.