The Making of a Lady

         George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion, filmed in 1938 by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, was excellent. It had a very interesting plot, which kept the audience very intrigued. This play and movie held the audience's attention through a good plot and great choice of characters to help the effectiveness of the plot itself.

         The plot itself kept the audience on their seat's edge because we never knew what the next move of the characters was going to be. There was a poor, uneducated, and uncivilized girl (Wendy Hiller) who sold flowers to make money. She basically lived on the streets and was dirt poor. Her father (Wilfred Lawson) was very uncouth and drank heavily at the bars-he was quite the slob. Eliza Doolittle was not the type of character an audience could ever imagine being turned into a refined lady. This plot made the play and movie interesting. It kept the audience attentive to whether or not Higgins (Leslie Howard) would be successful in turning Eliza into a lady. This was a very genius idea for a story line because the audience paid a great deal of attention to the steps and dedication Higgins had to ensure his success.

         Shaw did a great job visualizing how he wanted this play to go. He wrote the right type of characters through their lines and actions to help relay the message the plot was sending. Higgins' character was written to be very dedicated to turning Eliza into a lady, but he was not to be very warm or caring toward her or anyone else really. I think Higgins' character was written perfectly by Shaw and played perfectly by Leslie Howard, the co-director of the movie. Eliza's character was written to depict her as an uncivilized, and naive young girl who did not have the first clue about being a lady. Shaw then showed her progress throughout the entire play as she worked with Higgins. Her well-written character was acted very effectively by Wendy Hiller and helped the audience understand exactly what type of girl she was.

         The play Pygmalion and film version were great. I really enjoyed reading and watching the respective versions. George Bernard Shaw did an excellent job through writing a good plot and writing interesting characters to fit it, which the actors ably projected on the screen. This play-movie combination has appealed to audiences for many years, and I have a feeling it will appeal to them for many more years to come.

Rhiannon Mitchell

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