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My Fair Lady *IS* a love story! mwahaha! 
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Young Hoofer
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Looks like we're not the only ones thinking about this... ;) :

"Higgins succeeds -- and creates a monster. His new golem is as tough and assertive as he is, "a tower of strength: a consort battleship," able to stand up to his tyranny with a temper of her own. Higgins is delighted: he has created another "old bachelor" like himself. But Eliza will have none of it. Free of her master, she wants to be the master herself. So she marries the docile Freddie Eynsford-Hill and spends her time hanging around with Higgins so that the two can endlessly bully one another. In a savage response to Shakespeare's misogynistic The Taming of the Shrew, Shaw has the love/hate relationship between Eliza and Higgins continue long after the play and its prose epilogue are over." (from http://www.dvdverdict.com/printer/myfairladyse.php)

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Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:57 pm
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Hi guys & gals,

<- New user.

I've read both jazzy and Salmoe's posts about the Eliza and Higgins' relationship being entirely a platonic one; based partly on the line where Eliza says she'd like to be friendly-like with Higgins.

I'm of opposing interpretation.

I mean, I've only watched the movie a few times but I give you this evidence:

Quote:
Music by Frederick Loewe, words by Alan Jay Lerner


"I Could Have Danced All Night"

....

I could have danced all night,
I could have danced all night,
And still have begged for more.
I could have spread my wings,
And done a thousand things
I've never done before.
I'll never know
What made it so exciting
Why all at once my heart took flight.
I only know when he
Began to dance with me
I could have danced, danced, danced
All night--!


Now, I'm not arguing the relationship became platonic after the ball when he offended her by taking all the credit for himself, and before she comes back to him.. But, obviously she has juvenile feelings for him before the ball. But, his feelings for her take a bit more evolving. First, simply having her around, then more fully when she gains a bit more independence.

First off, he patronizes her constantly. This is quite common amongst student teacher relationships, but also amongst regular relationships. By constantly patronizing her he paints her a picture where she is ever struggling to prove herself to him. This gives both him and her meaning.

For this viewer it appears that Eliza has been wounded so badly when her expectations where shattered after the ball that her ego forces her past a few of insecurities after visiting Higgins's mother; thus attracting Higgins further.

Although he is in conflict about how he should feel toward Eliza, he steadfastly stays the course and goes home. Higgins understands he must maintain his leadership despite her newfound independence for their relationship to be successful ("now where are my slippers /credits).

Furthermore, this part of Higgins's is awesome:

Quote:
Professor Henry Higgins: You see, the great secret, Eliza, is not a question of good manners or bad manners, or any particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls. The question is not whether I treat you rudely, but whether you've ever heard me treat anyone else better.


This quote is very relevant when it comes to relationships. One of the major points in a relationship is not whether you treat someone badly, but whether you treat them better than everyone else around you.

You can see Higgins is the experienced bachelor while Eliza is a completely inexperienced. "I'm a good girl, I am!" The point is by the end of the play she is still inexperienced in relationships. This never changes despite her gaining some confidence amongst higher classes.

This idea about them becoming equals still exists to some extent:

Quote:
Eliza Doolittle: I don't care how you treat me. I don't mind your swearing at me. I shouldn't mind a black eye; I've had one before this. But I won't be passed over!


This displays that she simply wants acknowledgment. My point is if you asked her the night of the ball she would have sung a different tune. The only problem was that Higgins hadn't realized he was attracted to her at that point, and it was his God-given right to enjoy success with one of his boys, Colonel Pickering.

It's similar to the situation where you unexpectedly break up with a girl and one of the first things out of her mouth is how she was planning to break it off later that night. :roll: Typical reaction.

Quote:
Eliza Doolittle: It was very difficult. I should never have known how ladies and gentlemen really behaved, if it hadn't been for Colonel Pickering. He always showed what he thought and felt about me as if I were something better than a common flower girl. You see, Mrs. Higgins, apart from the things one can pick up, the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. I shall always be a common flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me like a common flower girl, and always will. But I know that I shall always be a lady to Colonel Pickering, because he always treats me like a lady, and always will.


Riiiiiight. Yet you ended up getting giddy about dancing with Higgins!

This is the first time Eliza has been attracted to a guy like Higgins and circumstances didn't work out so of course she'll say she doesn't want to make love to him or think of him as a love interest. Yet, at the end, she comes back, Higgins immediately patronizes her, and she enjoys it.

Higgins is the classic successful bachelor! Because of her new-found independence he is more attracted to her. And, in the end she realizes she could never settle down with someone so boringly nice like Freddy or Pickering so she goes back to Higgins.

Personally, I think the only person who has experience in relationships that could deny feelings between the two characters is doing the story an injustice. Maybe they don't want to encourage the actors to play the Student/ Teacher romantic interest because it is taboo? Maybe they've read all of the older revisions for so long they can't accept an audience's expectantly uneducated interpretation?

Higgins is brimming with confidence and experience. What girl wouldn't be attracted to that?

Regardless, I think we can all agree that this piece of work manages to satisfy a whole slew of personality-types by having such interpretive and contradictory scenes.


Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:55 pm
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no. totally wrong.

you mis interpreted everything.

and if you dont belive Shaw and Lerner..who wrote the plays then your living in a fanatasy world.

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Young Hoofer
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"Just when you think you know something, you have to look at it in another way. Even though it may seem silly or wrong, you must try!

Now, when you read, don't just consider what the author thinks. Consider what you think."

~Dead Poet's Society


Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:57 pm
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I know what I rthink..and making it a love story would destroy the finely constructed fabric of a masterpiece.

one oft he reasons My Fair Lady is a trendsetter is BECAUSE its not a love story...make it al ove story and you not only compromise the integrity of the charactrs you also cheapen the whole piece.

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Shaw himself said that he was against "easy" endings for the audience and for this to be a romantic love story is certainly not what he intended.

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Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:20 pm
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My Fair Lady: A Love Story For Those Who Cannot Love

I think that sums it up.

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Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:52 am
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I think that there is companionate love there, but no romantic love. I don't think they would have ever gotten married or allowed their relationship to go past what it was at the end of the show; Higgins wouldn't be for contradicting himself after he had said that he was a confirmed old bachelor and his rants about women, and I think Eliza realized she didn't love him that way anyway; during I Could Have Danced All Night I think that she was just generally very pleased about everything that had happened and was so intoxicated by her happiness and pride in herself that she interpreted her feelings incorrectly... I didn't really put that sentence the way I meant it but I can't think of any other way to put it. :?

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Post Re: My Fair Lady *IS* a love story! mwahaha!
I understand that I'm bumping a rather old thread, but I just had a revelation...

My Fair Lady IS a love story...

...between a flower girl and the chocolates. :mrgreen:

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Post Re:
jazzygirlsings wrote:
Shaw himself said that he was against "easy" endings for the audience and for this to be a romantic love story is certainly not what he intended.

Yet it was he himself who originaly changed the ending for the film version of Pygmalion (which is exactly the same as the ending of MFL).


Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:59 am
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Post Re: Re:
mantarnia wrote:
jazzygirlsings wrote:
Shaw himself said that he was against "easy" endings for the audience and for this to be a romantic love story is certainly not what he intended.

Yet it was he himself who originaly changed the ending for the film version of Pygmalion (which is exactly the same as the ending of MFL).

According to wikipedia, that ending was against Shaw's wishes.

Now, I know that wikipedia isn't the most reliable source, but he wrote a big honking epilogue explaining what happens after the end of the play for the express purpose of shutting up people who insisted that Eliza marry Higgins.


Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:42 am
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Post Re: My Fair Lady *IS* a love story! mwahaha!
ELiza returning to Higgins at the end doesnt signify anythig romantic.

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