How to Become a Lady

         If I were to act in a film version of one of the assigned literary works, I would choose the role of Eliza in My Fair Lady, George Cukor's 1964 film version of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, written for the stage in 1913.

         The fact that Eliza (Audrey Hepburn) is merely a flower girl living on the streets is not something that I would ever want to experience; but after living that way and having someone take me in to make a "lady" out of me would be an experience. Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) does not necessarily take Eliza in with open arms; he does it to win a bet. I love Eliza's strong will and determination to become a lady. Higgins works her night and day until she finally says her words properly. Eliza is able to get new clothes; she has her own room and servants that are there if she ever needs anything. She is able to dress up and attend a ball where everyone assumes she is royalty, but I should like to change Henry Higgins' attitude toward Eliza.

         I do not like the way Higgins treats her--as if she is an animal or just a project. Even though Eliza starts out rude and with no sense of manners, that does not give him the right to treat her in such a harsh manner. She really knows no different way to behave. Another aspect that I would want to change would be the way her father (Stanley Holloway) acts toward Eliza. To him, Eliza is nothing more than another person from whom to beg for money. When he hears that she is staying at Higgins' house, he goes there immediately. He wants Higgins to buy his daughter from him. He sells her as if she is nothing more than cattle.

         I cannot imagine how being treated like that would make a person feel, but Eliza is strong and becomes a lady. She shows them all that she can do it. Along the way, she starts to like Higgins more and more. He does not realize how much she means to him until she is gone.

Terra Vance

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