A Novella Review – Eliza Byrne
The excerpt shows that Eliza is a keen businessman. She started out at a very young age working for a small wage and now owns two pieces of land. She has great judgment and used that knowledge to make wise investments.
Eliza was sixteen years of age and unlettered. Her eyes were darkened and she hadn’t eaten in several days. Her hands and shawl were filthy and covered in sores. The woman who stopped her was a large, muscular woman with shoulders like a wrestler. She spoke with a flat, broad American accent and had thick, silver hair that ran down her back.
Eliza, despite her young age was a spectacle in the sideshow. She would often perform for the public. She would amaze everyone around her. She would be a delight to watch. The crowd would be envious, as they would want to get a glimpse of her.
Later that day Eliza attempts to sell flowers to an old man. He only has one sovereign coin in him. Eliza must beg him to give her a dollar when she sees him. The bystander who had stopped her warned her of the stranger taking notes on her. Professor Henry Higgins turns out to have been the stranger.
Eliza’s vulgarity is a result of necessity. Although she is not vulgar, she does not show respect for others. She is also prone to poor social skills and is suspected of seeking out a prostitute. Hence, her vulgarity is both a source of comic relief and a source of pity.
After the wedding night, Eliza’s charm wore off. She wanted to spend time with her children. Her mother sold her to a domestic agency when she was only thirteen years old. Her mother sent her there dry-eyed and white-lipped.
Mama Fresia Eliza’s mother refused to acknowledge her daughter’s illegitimacy. She had a good memory and used it to make money. She also used it to recall her life with poetic vagueness. Because she believed that things we forget might as well have never happened,