.. c role, to live a sophisticated and proper life of her own. In fact she won the heart of a fine gentleman, Freddy, and is planning a marriage with him. Higgins is surprised, although he doesnt show it, and continues to act as if he is not bothered at all by this development. In his mind though, hes remembering how accustomed he has grown to her face, that he will soon miss.
The two say their good-byes, and Higgins returns home to find himself listening to the first recordings of Eliza. Shortly thereafter Eliza returns back to Higgins home and surprises him with the truth of her true feelings for him. She finally admits to herself that she has grown to love both him and his lifestyle, and that Freddy is not her true love. The story of “My Fair Lady” is similar to Pygmalion because of the similarities between the archetypal characters Professor Higgins and Pygmalion. Professor Higgins has the intelligence and ability to take a poor and uneducated woman with no manners and sculpt her into an elegant and sophisticated lady who is able to ascend into the upper echelons of high society from the streets of England seamlessly.
At the same time, Professor Higgins has unknowingly molded Eliza into his ideal woman. On the other hand, although Pygmalion did not actually teach and transform his statue into his ideal woman, his undying hope for an ideal intellectual mate to suit the physical beauty he created brought together divine intervention with divine creation and formed his ideal woman, in his eyes. Again, this is evidence that anything is possible, if you really devote your mind to it. Although Professor Higgins was rude and snobby, he still held a strong belief in his ideal and it took a lot of devotion to take an unmolded human being and bring qualities out in her that no one ever thought were there. This example gives hope to every little girl who aspires to be something she is not.
Although Professor Higgins did bring to the surface the elite qualities that were necessary to fit into society at this time, it was the untapped potential in Eliza which made it possible for her to fit in and have confidence to become something that she wasnt previously. “Higgins clearly lacks the eroticism of Ovids Pygmalion, but his distaste for women in lifes gutters, his passion for creation, for an art that conceals its art in carrying a thing of beauty from raw materials, his dressing Eliza in gowns and jewels, and his desire to articulate life and achieve an ideal, all echo Ovids hero. Pygmalions passions finally impregnate his creation; Higgins finally sparks Eliza to give birth to the woman within her” (Berst, p.13). Elizas growth involves increasing self-realization, an evolution from a lower to a higher state of being, and an important quality that sometimes is not innately there and must be developed. Pygmalion spent great time and effort in creating his ideal woman. This gives hope to society, especially the lower classes, that one can change and succeed if they just try hard enough.
The more advanced and modern version of “My Fair Lady” was spawned in a film entitled Pretty Woman. This 1980s film is more blunt than its predecessors because the Higgins character (played by Richard Gere) chooses a prostitute (Julia Roberts) not as someone to try to pass into high society, but as a companion to himself. The movie takes place in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, in a wealthy area in present day, and is not so unlikely a scenario to happen considering the day and age that we live in today. Gere is a rich, cool executive who finds a soft spot for Roberts, who turns out to be a strikingly honest, real and charming woman. Gere decides to hire her for business and social reasons (as a woman for display) with the agreement that she is treated like a princess for a week.
She gets a new wardrobe, goes to the opera, and learns proper etiquette manners for fine dining. We see Higgins plight paralleled in Geres attempt to pass her off as a normal, Beverly Hills debutante. We see Eliza Doolittle represented in Roberts because she decides she wants more from Gere than money. Julia ends up like a fairy tale character, succeeding in passing as well as getting her man, like Eliza Doolittle and similar to Pygmalions statue. Each woman is transformed into a new identity.
“My Fair Lady” and Pretty Woman are the stories that more young women will be able to take inspiration from and shows once again that its very possible to find true women with hearts of gold. Pretty Woman really shows society that regardless of your living status, class or occupation, all women have the ability to grow, change and succeed buried deep inside. Not all prostitutes or street people are helpless, and meaningless. They can have genuine hearts as well and sometimes they are truly more honest and real because of the experiences that they have lived through and the challenges they have faced thus far in their lives. In all three stories, both the man and woman can be seen as an archetypal hero. Pygmalion, Professor Higgins and Richard Gere all each take the risk of helping these women, and society could view them negatively for their involvement with the lower class.
Eliza and Julia take a big risk in being stepped on and being ridiculed lower than they already are compared to the mens lifestyles. They are archetypal heroes because they have strong character and are willing to change. These women have the confidence and ability to change and this shows society that again, anything is possible. The only downfall was the verbal abuse both women took from the elite class, as they were learning to adapt. High society doesnt appreciate or care for prostitutes, but for everyone to be fooled and convinced of this new woman shows their absurdity.
A person has a heart of gold regardless of their status even if it is not evident to the naked eye.