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My Favourite Literary Hero

   "Pygmalion" is one of B. Shaw's best comedies and one of my favourite ones.
   The principal characters of the play are Eliza Doolitle and Henry Higgins. Eliza, a girl of eighteen, makes her living by selling flowers in the streets of London. She comes from the lowest social strata and speaks with a strong Cockney accent, which is considered to be the most uncultured English.
   Bernard Shaw knew the common fate of those who were born in poverty. The Cockney English spoken in the East End of London was like a brand on a person's reputation. People would not be taken on to work at a respectable place; yet no one taught people free of charge, the common people had no chance to learn.
   Henry Higgins is a professor of phonetics. One day in the street, he says to his friend Colonel Pickering that he could pass off Eliza as a duchess. Eliza hears this conversation and the next day she goes straight to the professor's house and insists on being taught. Higgins bets Pickering that he will pass her off as a duchess in six months.
   The character of Eliza shows how much strength and talent lies undeveloped inside the common people. Eliza is a precious material for a new creation. The play reveals how Eliza struggles to rise to a higher cultural level.
   Higgins does his best at the girl's manners and pronunciation, and finally, before six months are over, she is well prepared to be introduced into a society. Higgins and Pickering take her to the party and the opera. Everything goes well. Higgins wins his bet.
   But what is to become of Eliza when the game is over? She knows that the professor is sure to take up some new work in the morning and forget about her. She cannot go back to selling flowers in the street. She has acquired some knowledge, and she wants to do useful work. She wants independence and her share of human kindness. Higgins understands the way she feels. He even feels guilty.
   Higgins and Eliza remain friends, but the play is without ending. Shaw, the realist, saw that in England of his days there would be nothing for Eliza to do except to open a flower shop and to marry Freddy Eynsford who had been in love with her.

Мой любимый литературный герой

   «Пигмалион» — одна из лучших комедий Б. Шоу и одна из самых моих любимых.
   Основные персонажи пьесы — Элиза Дулитл и Генри Хиггинс. Элиза, восемнадцатилетняя девушка, зарабатывает себе на жизнь, продавая цветы на улицах Лондона. Она происходит из самых низших социальных слоев и разговаривает с сильным акцентом Кокни, который, считается самым некультурным английским.
   Бернард Шоу знал судьбу тех, кто родился в бедности. Английский Кокни, на котором говорят в Ист-энде Лондона, похож на клеймо на репутации человека. Людей не брали на работу на хорошее место; и так как никто не обучал их бесплатно, то у них не было никакого шанса научиться говорить правильно.
   Генри Хиггинс — профессор фонетики. Однажды на улице, он говорит своему другу полковнику Пикерингу, что смог бы выдать Элизу за герцогиню. Элиза слышит этот разговор, и на следующий же день идет прямо в дом профессора и настаивает на ее обучении. Хиггинс заключает с Пи-керингом пари о том, что он выдаст ее за герцогиню через шесть месяцев.
   Персонаж Элизы показывает, сколько есть сил и нераскрытого таланта у простых людей. Элиза — драгоценный материал для нового творения. В пьесе показано как Элиза изо всех сил пытается подняться на более высокий культурный уровень.
   Хиггинс прилагает все усилия, обучая девушку манерам и совершенствуя ее произношение, и наконец, по окончанию шести месяцев, она хорошо подготовлена для представления в обществе. Хиггинс и Пикеринг выводят ее в оперу. Все проходит хорошо. Хиггинс выигрывает свое пари.
   Но что станет с Элизой, когда игра закончится? Она знает, что утром профессор возьмется за новую работу и забудет о ней. Она не может возвратиться на улицу продавать цветы. Она приобрела определенные знания, и она хочет независимости и человеческой доброты. Хиггинс понимает, что она переживает. Он даже чувствует свою вину.
   Хиггинс и Элиза остаются друзьями, но пьеса не имеет конца. Шоу, реалист, и он понимал, что в Англии его времени Элизе не остается ничего, как открыть цветочный магазин и выйти замуж за Фредди Айнсфорда, который любил ее.


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