Men, How They Are so Selfish!

         There were three films that we watched in class that men were so selfish and unappreciative of the women in their lives. In Pygmalion, directed in 1938 by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard and based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, Professor Higgins (Leslie Howard) is not appreciative of Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller). In two 1973 films of Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play, directed Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland respectively, Torvald (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) does not appreciative his wife, Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom). Is it right the way these men treated these women? Not, is the answer. Why indeed should the women have to deal with it?

         In the first film, Pygmalion, Professor Higgins is not appreciative of Eliza Doolittle. Initially, Professor Higgins does not think he could teach Eliza Doolittle the correct English language that a cultured woman should use. However, he takes up the challenge when Colonel Pickering (Scott Sunderland) bets that Professor Higgins could not teach Eliza how to speak correctly and how to be a lady before they took Eliza before the Queen of Transylvania at Buckingham Palace in six months. In the end after her triumph at the ball, they do not give Eliza the credit for learning correctly how to be a woman but instead take all of the credit themselves for teaching Eliza. I believe that this makes the two men look selfish. They do not even consider Eliza's feeling at all. They take all the credit, when Eliza has had the big part in wanting to learn how to be a lady and how to speak perfect English. It makes men even more selfish and piggish that they put a bet on the work Professor Higgins was doing. This is just wrong.

         Also, in the two films of A Doll's House, this unappreciativeness of men is shown. Torvald is very unappreciative of his wife, Nora. Nora learns from Dr. Rank (Trevor Howard/Ralph Richardson) that her husband, Torvald, is very sick and that he will surely die if he does not get away and into a warm climate. Nora and Torvald do not really have the money to travel this long distance, so she borrows the money from Korgstad (Edward Fox/Denholm Eliot) by forging her dead father's signature without telling Torvald because he did not believe in incurring any sort of debt. She plans to pay it back in payments over a period of years.

         Now that Torvald is the new manager of the bank, he is going to fire Krogstad from the bank. Therefore, to forestall this firing, Krogstad ends up telling Torvald in a letter that Nora had borrowed the money from him. Torvald is furious when he learns that Nora had borrowed the money. In fact, Hopkins' Torvald even goes on a rampage about her borrowing the money, even hitting her and calling her a stupid woman, which is just crazy of him, Nora finally ends up telling Torvald that she had borrowed the money to save his life.

         I believe that these films show that men are very unappreciative of women. Both women are very successful at the plan that they have perused for a good cause. I believe that women are very unappreciated and not respected by the men in the plays and films. In real life today, many women are expected to cook, clean and take care of the children just as they were back in the days. Women today have to fight for their positions in jobs, and show that they can handle the job that a man can handle. Do women have the same rights as men? Yes they do. I believe that men should watch these films and learn what happens to men, such as Henry Higgins and Torvald Helmer, who refuse to appreciate the women in their lives.

Michelle Loveridge

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