What's to Become of Me?

         In the 1964 film My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor and based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 Pygmalion, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) asks this question:. "What's to become of me?" That is a good question.

         Due to the events in the film, Eliza has to learn to become a duchess when she was born only a poor flower girl. She succeeds, but as she does she realizes that now she may not be fit to be anything. Being born from that sort of life and then abandoning it for something that she had thought was better, can have serious consequences in the end. The life that she had been born into, with her friends and connections, was something with which she was comfortable. Even though it was a life that in many ways could be found lacking, it was a life of her own.

         And once she crosses over to the new life, she is left alone. All of her friends and family are still in the other world that she had left for the world that now possessed you. Society, along with the class system is a very tangled web; and it is easy to get herself caught in it. Now that Eliza is upper class, she could not work for herself as a flower girl any longer because it is seen as unbefitting of a lady. She could either marry, or live with family, which was not an option since her own newly married father, Alfred P. Doolittle (Stanley Holloway) wants nothing to do with her. She could not return to her former companions of her lower-class life because she now knows more than they do, and she could not abandon what she has learned from her new experiences.

         Poor Eliza has nowhere to go but up and on her own. She has been forced to learn how to take care of herself, no matter what society now thinks of her. It is this realization in the movie that she has to return to Higgins (Rex Harrison) until she can learn to cope with her new life, whereas in the original play, she ends up marrying Freddy and trying to become successful in her life and marriage.

Mary Moffitt

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