Why can’t a woman be like a man?
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Why can’t a woman be like a man?

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Yes, why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;

Eternally noble, historically fair;

Who when you win will always give your back a pat.

Why can’t a woman be like that?

Why does ev’ryone do what the others do?

Can’t a woman learn to use her head?

Why do they do everything their mothers do?

Why don’t they grow up like their fathers instead?

Why can’t a woman take after a man?

Men are so pleasant, so easy to please;

Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease.

Would you be slighted if I didn’t speak for hours?

 

Why can’t a woman be like you?

One man in a million may shout a bit.

Now and then there’s one with slightest defects.

One perhaps whose truthfulness you doubt a bit.

But by and large we are a marvelous sex!

Why can’t a woman behave like a man?

Men are so friendly, good-natured, and kind;

A better companion you never will find.

If I were hours late for dinner, would you bellow?

 

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Men are so decent, such regular chaps.

Ready to help you through any mishaps.

Ready to buck you up whenever you are glum.

Why can’t a woman be a chum?

Why is thinking something women never do?

Why is logic never even tried?

Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.

Why don’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?

Why can’t a woman behave like a man?

If I was a woman who’d been to a ball,

Been hailed as a princess by one and by all;

Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing?

And carry on as if my home were a tree?

Would I run off and never tell me where I’m going?

Why can’t a woman be like me?

Assignment for song 4:

Translate the song paying attention to the italicized words and word combinations. Make your own sentences with them.

 

I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face …

I’ve grown accustomed to her face!

She almost makes the day begin.

I’ve grown accustomed to the tune

That she whistles night and noon.

Her smiles, her frowns.

Her ups, her downs.

Are second nature to me now;

Like breathing out and breathing in.

 

I was serenely independent and content before we met;

Surely I could always be that way again – and yet

I’ve grown accustomed to her looks:

Accustomed to her voice.

Accustomed to her face.

 

Marry Freddy! What an infantile idea! What a heartless, wicked, brainless thing to do! But she’ll regret it. She’ll regret it. She’ll regret it. It’s doomed before they even take the vow!

 

I can see her now:

Mrs Freddy Eynsford-Hill,

In a wretched little flat above a store.

I can see her now:

Not a penny in the till,

And a bill-collector beating at the door.

 

She’ll try to teach the things I taught her.

And end up selling flowers instead;

Begging for her bread and water,

While her husband has his breakfast in bed!

 

In a year or so

When she’s prematurely grey,

And the blossom in her cheek has turned to chalk.

 

She’ll come home and lo!

He’ll have upped and run away

With a social climbing heiress from New York!

 

Poor Eliza!

How simply frightful!

How humiliating!

How delightful!

How poignant it will be on that inevitable night when she hammers on my door in tears and rags. Miserable and lonely, repentant and contrite. Will I take her in or hurl to the wolves. Give her kindness, or the treatment she deserves? Will I take her back, or throw the baggage out?

 

I’m a most forgiving man:

The sort who never could,

Ever would,

Take a position and staunchly never budge.

Just a most forgiving man.

But I shall never take her back,

If she were crawling on her knees,

Let her promise to atone!

Let her shiver, let her moan!

I will slam the door and let the hell-cat freeze!

Marry Freddy! Ha!

But I’m so used to hear her say

Good morning every day.

Her joys, her woes,

Her highs, her lows

Are second nature to me now;

Like breathing out and breathing in.

I’m very grateful she’s woman

And so easy to forget;

Rather like a habit

One can always break – and yet

I’ve grown accustomed to the trace

Of something in the air;

Accustomed to her face.

 

 

VII. Read the following students’ works. Can you define if the suggested abstracts (a, b) are a part of essay or summary (see Appendix). Try your hand at creating your own “masterpiece”.

a) Henry Higgins is one of the main characters of the famous musical “My Fair Lady”. He is a professor of phonetics and he is very good at this subject. But he also has a specific outlook. It looks like he cares only about his work and his own life, and doesn’t see anything else. We may call him a confirmed bachelor. But is it really so?

Firstly, let’s talk about Higgins’ attitude to the society around him. He doesn’t want any close relations with it because he knows that he will hardly find a person like him in it. He is really one in million, and he can’t be at ease among them. He sings that he is an ordinary man, but in fact his knowledge, behaviour and character make him differ from the others. That’s why it’s hard for him to find the love of his life and to accept it.

The next thing is that he’s just afraid of changes. He sings that he is a gentle, even-tempered, patient and pensive man. If he lets a woman in his life, she’ll change everything, “tie the knot around his neck, make him use the language that makes a sailor blush” ... and the language is the most important thing for him. After all, what else should we expect from the man who can’t even change his suit for his mother’s party?

Finally, I want to say that the key to Higgins’ heart does exist, and at the end of the play Eliza proves that. With Mrs Higgins’ help she understands that Henry Higgins is a big child in the matter of love, and if she wants to change him, she has to play his game – to show her own character, to become his best creation with an independent soul.

For these reasons, I am sure, Henry Higgins is not a confirmed bachelor. He just lives in his own world, according to his own specific laws. Maybe, he is afraid to leave this world. Eliza can feel it, because Higgins helped her to be born anew. They are linked like a sculptor and his sculpture. I am sure that there is no absolute bachelor in our world. Everybody has his second part. Higgins just convinced himself that he doesn’t need anybody in his life, but not every belief is true.

(by Bulatov Leonid, EMD, gr.37)

 

b) “Pygmalion” is one of Shaw’s best comedies. The title of the play comes from a Greek myth. Pygmalion, a sculptor, was said to have carved a statue out of ivory. It was the statue of a beautiful young girl whom he called Galatea. He fell in love with his own handiwork, so the goddess Aphrodite breathed life into the statue and transformed it into a woman.

The principal characters of the play are Eliza Doolitle and Henry Higgins. Eliza, a girl of eighteen, comes from the lowest social level and speaks with a strong Cockney accent, which is considered to be the most illiterate English.

Eliza’s father is a dustman. Eliza will not stay with her father and her stepmother, she makes her own living by selling flowers in the streets of London.

The play shows how Eliza struggles to rise to a higher cultural level. Bernard Show knew the common fate of those who were born in poverty. There was no rising from it to another standing without outward culture. The Cockney English spoken in the East End of London was like a stamp on a person’s reputation.

Henry Higgins is a professor of phonetics. He studies the physiological aspects of a person’s speech, that is the sounds of the language. One day in the street, he points out the flowergirl, Eliza, to his friend Colonel Pickering, a phonetician studying Indian dialects.

“You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days. Well, sir, in three months I could pass that girl off as a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party. I could even get her a place as lady’s maid or shop assistant, which requires better English. That’s the sort of thing I do for commercial millionaires. And on the profits of it I do genuine scientific work in phonetics.”

Eliza hears this conversation and is impressed. She sees a chance of being pulled out of the gutter. The next day she goes to the professor’s house and insists on being taught. Higgins makes an agreement with Pickering and bets him that he will pass her off as a duchess in six months.

c) Why can’t a man be like a woman?!

Why can’t a woman be like a man?

It is nonsense and someone’s wicked plan.

Man is a cold fish, a pain in the neck.

His constant desires are sleep and snack.

Woman is beautiful. She is good as gold,

Delicate, clever, fantastic and bold.

Men are so cruel, so awful, so proud.

Their voices are rude, disgusting and loud.

Women are graceful. They’re smart and unique.

They can do something qualitative and quick.

Who wants a woman be like a man?

Who thinks a woman is like a dull hen?

Who thinks the man is so easy to please?

Who makes him happy and does his caprice?

But by and large, it is enough.

It isn’t all. It’s only a half.

And at least, I want to be human:

Why can’t a man be like a woman?

(by Osinkina Irina, commercial group of interpreters)

Tasks for oral and written composition:

 

1. Give a character sketch of Henry Higgins. Try and use the vocabulary from the songs.

2. Give an oral or written summary of the play “My Fair Lady”.

3. Write an essay on one of the topics:

a) Which of the characters did you like best and why?

b) Henry Higgins is a confirmed bachelor.

c) Why can’t a woman be like a man?

d) “Divine sparks” both in Henry and Eliza’s souls.

e) What is phonetics? How should it be taught and learnt?

 









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