Pygmalion

Pygmalion

4.0 49
by George George Bernard Shaw
     
 

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As will be seen later on, Pygmalion needs, not a preface, but a sequel, which I have supplied in its due place. The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other

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As will be seen later on, Pygmalion needs, not a preface, but a sequel, which I have supplied in its due place. The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him. German and Spanish are accessible to foreigners: English is not accessible even to Englishmen. The reformer England needs today is an energetic phonetic enthusiast: that is why I have made such a one the hero of a popular play. There have been heroes of that kind crying in the wilderness for many years past. When I became interested in the subject towards the end of the eighteen-seventies, Melville Bell was dead; but Alexander J. Ellis was still a living patriarch, with an impressive head always covered by a velvet skull cap, for which he would apologize to public meetings in a very courtly manner. He and Tito Pagliardini, another phonetic veteran, were men whom it was impossible to dislike. Henry Sweet, then a young man, lacked their sweetness of character: he was about as conciliatory to conventional mortals as Ibsen or Samuel Butler. His great ability as a phonetician (he was, I think, the best of them all at his job) would have entitled him to high official recognition, and perhaps enabled him to popularize his subject, but for his Satanic contempt for all academic dignitaries and persons in general who thought more of Greek than of phonetics. Once, in the days when the Imperial Institute rose in South Kensington, and Joseph Chamberlain was booming the Empire, I induced the editor of a leading monthly review to commission an article from Sweet on the imperial importance of his subject. When it arrived, it contained nothing but a savagely derisive attack on a professor of language and literature whose chair Sweet regarded as proper to a phonetic expert only. The article, being libelous, had to be returned as impossible; and I had to renounce my dream of dragging its author into the limelight. When I met him afterwards, for the first time for many years, I found to my astonishment that he, who had been a quite tolerably presentable young man, had actually managed by sheer scorn to alter his personal appearance until he had become a sort of walking repudiation of Oxford and all its traditions. It must have been largely in his own despite that he was squeezed into something called a Readership of phonetics there. The future of phonetics rests probably with his pupils, who all swore by him; but nothing could bring the man himself into any sort of compliance with the university, to which he nevertheless clung by divine right in an intensely Oxonian way. I daresay his papers, if he has left any, include some satires that may be published without too destructive results fifty years hence. He was, I believe, not in the least an ill-natured man: very much the opposite, I should say; but he would not suffer fools gladly. [...]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781494890124
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
01/06/2014
Pages:
68
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.14(d)

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Pygmalion 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In George Bernard Shaw¿s Pygmalion, the storyline centers around three main characters: Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins, and Colonel Pickering. Eliza Doolittle is a flower girl who gives herself to the tutelage of Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering to learn proper grammar and phonetics. Eliza can be characterized as a very sensitive and emotional person she seeks to be treated like a duchess by men. Her personality clashes with the personality of Professor Higgins in an extreme way. Professor Higgins is an arrogant, work-obsessed expert in phonetics who views Eliza simply as an experiment. He is a bachelor who has never found a place for women in his life due to his obsession with language. Colonel Pickering is a gentleman from India who is also an expert in language. He is more genteel than Higgins and treats Eliza with respect while maintaining a professional interest in her similar to that of Higgins. These three comprise the main action of the novel as Eliza learns speech of the upper class from them. She manages to pass herself off as a Hungarian princess at a formal party. This achievement gives credence to the efforts of Higgins and Pickering. After experiencing life in the upper class, Eliza settles for a lower class life with a suitor who loves her for what she is. After petty disputes, Eliza and Higgins remain friends in the time after. Other memorable characters include Mrs. Higgins who maintains an authoritative figure over her grown son and Mr. Doolittle who rises from a dustman to become a well-respected speaker in the community. I think that this is a good book because it shows that happiness can be achieved without wealth and fame. I highly recommend it due to its emphasis on grammatical and phonetic correctness, a dying art in this time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found Pygmalion to be a charming novel full of wit and feeling. Eliza Doolittle becomes empowered through self-respect, not the love of a man. Though Professor Henry Higgins altered her mannerisms and speech, it was ultimately Eliza’s inner strength that made her a lady. Her realization that before the glamorous dresses and elaborate diction, she was the girl she wished to be inevitably gave her a new sense of independence and self-respect. “Pygmalion” is not merely a play about turning an impoverished flower girl into a duchess, but one about turning a defensive and insecure girl into a confident, strong, and independent woman, through means unforeseen until the very end. It was not the glamorous transformation, but the inner sense of self-worth that changed Eliza for the better. For once the heroine does not fall for the hero, and instead makes her own independent and love-filled ending. All in all, I found George Bernard Shaw's play to be enjoyable and meaningful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was in second grade, one of my grandmother's friends gave this book to me as a birthday present. I read it that year and have been reading it ever since. I am obsessed. I have 5 versions of the play, an illustrated classic, the movie, and the soundtrack. ( My Fair Lady ) In am in fifth grade and Eliza Doolittle is one of my favorite characters of all time. The story has effected me in more ways that I can count. So loverly. There is one version that I have of the MUSICAL. have no idea how my mother found it, but it is the entire thing with the songs and the lyrics. It is one of my most prized posessions. My favorite songin the musical is... I Could Have Danced All Night. It is so beautiful. The enchanting Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison captured the role of Eliza and Professor Higgins beautifully. Then later, the fabulous Audrey Hepburn took the role of Eliza in the film version of brilliant Bernard's play. It's no wonder why Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn were chosen for the role of Mrs. Doolittle they are so talented and where absolutely perfect for the role.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just long enough for my taste in plays. Easy read. Last segment is windy, but necessary to conclude right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crisp copy that had everything you needed for the piece of work. It was an assignment, so not my personal favorite read, but the seller got it to me on time and in great condition. Thank you!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I HAVE READ THIS BOOK PYGMALION MEENY YEARS WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL.WHAT EVER RESEAN I HAVE NOT COMPLEAT READING THIS BOOK,NOW IHAVE TOO BUY THIS BOOK AT BARNES AND NOBELS.ITS A GREAT BOOK,
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likesgoodbooks More than 1 year ago
Is there a lot in this play! Great characters, nuances, commentary on the English and their class system... some funny comments and a lot more.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading and devouring this book. At first, I saw the chance to read Pygmalion as a dull and monotone way of absorbing information during the two month summer. However, the book was easily read with addictive characters, inspiring feats, and unexcpected romance. I hope that people will look past the fact that they were assigned to read the book and enjoy it as much as I had cherished it. I would definitely recomend to readers with the love of English. Otherwise, they might find it dull.
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