Higgins a Homosexual?

         Do not worry; I am just like everyone else. I want Henry to admit that he is a jerk from hell and for him and Eliza to fall in love. In a perfect world, better known as a Hollywood movie, that is the way it would happen. Of course, this is real life and My Fair Lady is the Hollywood exception.

         In the 1913 play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, Higgins comes across as a real jerk, a confirmed bachelor, who appears to have little regard for women and even less romantic desire for any of them. The 1964 cinematic musical adaptation of the twentieth-century play Pygmalion has become an American classic in the hearts of most movie lovers. Eliza Doolittle, portrayed by the legendary and beautiful Audrey Hepburn, begins the movie as a poor, common flower girl. She soon meets Henry Higgins, depicted by the also legendary Rex Harrison, as a mite kinder to her in this version than he is in the play. He yells at Eliza, calls her degrading names, and is an all-around jerk to her and everyone around him.

         Over and over he downgrades the female gender, and over and over he reconfirms that he is an old bachelor. He even sings a song entitled "Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man?" Of course, he grows to care about Eliza but not in a romantic way. The movie points more toward a potential romance than the play does, in which Higgins is even more of a confirmed bachelor and jerk; but neither confirms anything. Just when one thinks Higgins is going to confess his love for Eliza, he returns to his old ways. Even when singing about the way he has grown accustomed to Eliza's face, he cannot convince himself or me that he loves her any more than he loves himself or Pickering, played by Wilfred Hyde-White.

         The early twentieth-century play Pygmalion portrays Henry as an even bigger jerk. In the play Henry calls her names and treats her like the common girl he believes she will always be. At least the sensibilities the mid-twentieth century allowed for a little kindness. Harrison's Henry may still call her names, but he seems nicer and less obnoxious about it than does Shaw's original Henry.

         After reading the play and watching the movie, I have decided that Henry Higgins is a flaming homosexual who is not in love with Eliza but instead in love with Colonel Pickering. You see: Higgins could never fall in love with a woman. He does not respect any one of them enough. However, he continually praises men and loves everything about the male gender. He adores Pickering enough to invite him to live with him and is usually even nice to him. The song title "Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man" should be changed to "Why Can't a Woman Be a Man?"

Lynnsey McGarrh

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