Eliza Doolittle Gives Me an Earache

         As the title might suggest, Eliza Doolittle from Pygmalion (1938 directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard) and My Fair Lady (1964 directed by George Cukor) gives me an earache, not to mention a headache! What beautiful films these were but, I could have enjoyed the films just as well without Eliza's (portrayed by Wendy Hiller, Pygmalion and Audrey Hepburn, My Fair Lady) constant bellowing!

         Never before in my life have I seen two more beautiful actresses that could manage to unnerve me with their excellent portrayal of a character. I will have to admit both actresses did their job in helping the audience to understand exactly what professor Henry Higgins (portrayed by Rex Harrison, Pygmalion and Leslie Howard, My Fair Lady) was up against. Both actresses unnerved so much that I actually started to agree with Professor Higgins' opinion of the girl. While I was reading George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, Pygmalion, I loathed and despised Professor Henry Higgins. Now, after seeing what he was dealing with, I do not blame the arrogant jerk for being the way he was. Maybe it is simply my aching head speaking but, Ms. Doolittle managed to slaughter the English language into near non-existence.

         There is much hesitation in bringing so much negativity regarding language and grammar to the table. Being a native Western Kentuckian myself, I struggle with using proper English on a daily basis. However, I would stand proud any day beside the likes of Eliza Doolittle. Eliza would make any hillbilly look like part of the royal family the way she carried on.

         In all sincerity, I did pity Eliza merely because she was a product of her environment and simply had not been instructed otherwise. No one is to be applauded but herself for all her hard work and dedication. Granted, Professor Higgins took all the credit, but Eliza was the one due credit, for she worked the hardest in perfecting her language skills, not to mention she looked very beautiful in the wardrobe Professor Higgins provided for her.

         Professor Higgins may have provided her language lessons, pretty clothes and a place to stay but, Eliza was the one to realize something was missing and take the step to better herself. For this I applaud Eliza; maybe she does not give me an earache at all. Maybe I am jealous of her courage and the ability to step out of the gutter and claim her place in the world as a lady, who no longer gave me an earache.

Katie Clark

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