Pygamalion tells the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can successfully pass off a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a refined society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette. In the process, Higgins and Doolittle grow close, but she ultimately rejects his domineering ways and declares she will marry Freddy Eynsford-Hill-- a young, poor gentleman.
Speech professor Henry Higgins successfully teaches Eliza Doolittle to speak and act like a duchess, but she adamantly refuses to be his creation.
George Bernard Shaw was the greatest British dramatist after Shakespeare, a satirist equal to Jonathan Swift, and a playwright whose most profound gift was his ability to make audiences think by provoking them to laughter. In one of his best-loved plays,Pygmalion,which later became the basis for the musicalMy Fair Lady,Shaw compels the audience to see the utter absurdity and hypocrisy of class distinction when Professor Henry Higgins wagers that he can transform a common flower girl into a lady--and then pass her off as a duchess--simply by changing her speech and manners. InMajor BarbaraShaw spins out the drama of an eccentric millionaire, a romantic poet, and a misguided savior of souls, Major Barbara herself, in a topsy-turvy masterpiece of sophisticated banter and urbane humor. His brilliant dialogue, combined with his use of paradox and socialist theory, never fails to tickle, entertain--and challenge. From the Paperback edition.
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