B.Shaw is a real sufficient observer of human nature. Remember the dialog
between Eliza and Mr. Higgins in the fifth act:
"LIZA. Well, you have both of them on your gramophone and in your book of
photographs. When you feel lonely without me, you can turn the machine on. It's
got no feelings to hurt.
HIGGINS. I can't turn your soul on. Leave me those feelings; and you can take
away the voice and the face. They are not you.
LIZA. Oh, you are a devil. You can twist the heart in a girl as easy as some
could twist her arms to hurt her. Mrs.Pearce warned me. Time and again she has
wanted to leave you; and you always got round her at the last minute. And you
don't care a bit for her. And you don't care a bit for me."
Eliza is full of indignation, she wants Mr.Higgins to understand what is
important for her, but she can't say: "I need you to be kind to me!"
She uses hints to let him guess. Her phrases ("It's got no feelings to
hurt" and "you don't care a bit for me") are full of unspoken
protest against Mr.Higgins' indifference. She reproaches him for it, but at the
same time she can't notice his reaction, can't understand his real attitude
towards her. When Mr.Higgins says: "I can't turn your soul on", Eliza
seems to be deaf. She can't even have an idea that Mr.Higgins could ever love
her. And he can't say it openly either. They are like two little kids, each of
them wanting to start a play but afraid to do it first. This situation creates
some misunderstanding between the characters , that is, to my mind, one of the
most important conflicts of the story.
I think that B.Shaw is a real sufficient observer of human nature, because he
could show us emotions and feelings through one's speech, he could make us
understand the two characters who have sunk in their misunderstanding.
Shaw is a real master of
observation. And his "Pigmalyon" is the best example of his power.
Reading the dialogs reprodused by his characters I understand that Shaw is an
expert in relationships between people, in revealing inner nature, in
explaining what is on thier minds. His humour is incredible, he uses different
ways to show the necessary motives of his characters. Shaw's homour and sarcasm
are the tools for making the reader beleive in the truthfullness of the events.
Turns of speech that are used help us to comprehend the whole gist, to get the
cgaracters' feelings and emotions. One can say for who sure who is a character
to sympathize with and who is one to mock at. Bernard Shaw being the great
English playwright has some life expirience that he carries to his
masterpieces. His language is perfect and his intentions are clear. We read his
'Pygmalion" and commence realizing how deep the play is. And this all due
to Shaw's power of explaining, power of observation.
Yes, Bernard Shaw is a real
master of giving impressive and full descriptions of his characters. I am
actually perplexed by how the author managed to describe a whole range of
different people at once. Along with ladies and gentlemen of the upper class,
people from the gutters are depicted so sincerely and elaborately. Speaking
about Mr. Doolittle, we can but admire Shaw’s deep insight into the character’s
real self. Eliza’s father reproduces monologues which can compete with a real
work of art. "I’ve heard all the preachers and all the prime ministers – for
I’m a thinking man and game for politics or religion or social reform same as
all the other amusements – and I tell you it’s a dog’s life any way you look at
it.” The very thing that the author provides this minor character with such
cues proves that Shaw wants to reveal the hidden streaks of Mr. Doolittle. This
humble man is able to combine plainness with dignity and self-respect. His
inner world turns out to be more spacious and complicated than we expected.
In the last acts of the play this character is becoming more peculiar. Mr.
Doolittle, who has just got an enormous sum of money, seems to be depressed and
angry because his life was altered despite his willing. Shaw is eager to show
two contradictory sides of his nature. On the one hand, Mr. Doolittle will
never be the same humble man again, he will never have the same simple
pleasures in his life such as getting drunk and singing songs loudly late at
night. On the other hand, he has no courage to refuse all this money. He is
rich and his wealth has become a prison for him. "I was happy. I was free.
I touched pretty nigh everybody for money when I wanted it, same as I touched
you, Enry Iggins. Now I am worrited; tied neck and heels; and everybody touches
me for money." This monologue is a compelling evidence of Shaw's ability
to reveal all the sectrets of human nature, to show it from differents points
of view. The author lets us see this great variety of traits and feelings of
the character and that is an unschooled and splendid talent. Bernard Shaw is a bright
storyteller, am I right?
I’d like to speak about the
dialogue between Nepommuck and Higgins. That’s the way I get it. The less
clever and educated people are, the more pompous their speech is. The dialogue
is full of irony, of course. And everything is exaggerated, but still. It IS
right. And Shaw laughs at Nepommuck, finding him miserable. "Nepommuck –
bowing. Excellency…” It’s disgusting. He’s two-faced, hypocritical and so on.
Shaw doesn’t tell us about it directly but he manages to create Nepommuck’s
character within one dialogue.
Another scene I’d like to speak about is the dialogue between Mrs Higgins, Mr
Higgins and Colonel Pickering. The remark "speaking together” creates the
necessary effect of their total admiration of Liza. And parallel constructions
like "Talking Eliza. Dressing Eliza. Teaching Eliza.” create a humorous effect
and make this scene an emotional up.
So, as we can conclude, Shaw is a sufficient observer.
I do appreciate Bernard Shaw
as one of the greatest dramatists. While reading the play "Pygmalion” I always
noticed the manner of explaining some things by the author to us, readers, and
it made me think how it is possible to show emotional state of the character in
a book (I mean not in the acting, in the theatre for example). For instance,
speaking just about Eliza Doolittle: after reading her cues ("Ah-oo! Ah-oo!
It’s too hot!”, Oh I couldn’t!..I never done such a thing.”, "It would kill
me!”, "Boohoo, I won’t!”) you can easily imagine what the girl thinks at this
moment, why she behaves in this way, what she feels at that instant. The whole play
is full of such scenes. To prove my thoughts I suggest you thinking of the
scene, when Eliza was made to have a bath. Just recollect all of her words, her
shouting. How accurately the author creates this atmosphere to show us this
emotional heat. As I have said, Bernard Shaw is very observant of human nature.
He shows everything in detail and that helps readers maybe to understand the
feelings of the characters better. And obviously nearly every cue can illustrate this.