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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

pygmalion character essay

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

pygmalion character essay

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

pygmalion character essay

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

pygmalion character essay

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

pygmalion character essay

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

pygmalion character essay

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

pygmalion character essay

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

pygmalion character essay

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

pygmalion character essay

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


pygmalion character essay


Pygmalion Character Analysis

Recitatif character analysis.

In Toni Morrison's short story "Recitatif", the story revolves around two girls, one white and the other black, and how their social status affects their way of life. The narrator, Twyla, has five significant instances in her life where she is in a setting with her childhood best friend, Roberta. When they first met at the orphanage, they disliked each other, but because both of them still had a parent to their name, they were seen as social outcasts to the other children of their orphanage. Through their social disgrace they became friends and helped each other out. As they grew up, their lives were distinctly different with Twyla living the life of a lower-middle class citizen while Roberta was living a lavish lifestyle, creating conflict between the two. In the end, there is a slight sense of reconcilement in that they clear up a misunderstanding of their past, but there is an open question to what had happened to an element of their past.

Hannah W. Foster 's The Coquette

Eliza now has two suitors; one who is staid and reserved and one who is amiable and gay. While Mr. Boyer sees Eliza as a woman with “an accomplished mind and polished manner”, it is Sanford’s view of Eliza’s exuberant nature that ensures her downfall (10). In Major Sanford’s letter to Charles Deighton, he sees Eliza as a conquest. He writes that she is “an elegant partner; one exactly calculated to please my fancy; gay, volatile, apparently thoughtless of everything but present enjoyment” (18). Sanford does

Eliza's Transformation in Shaw's Pygmalion Essay

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is a play that shows a great change in the character Eliza Doolittle. As Eliza lives in poverty, she sells flowers to earn her living. Eliza does not have an education. This shows through the way that she does not have the most proper way of speaking. This happens through when Eliza is speaking to the other characters when she meets then when she is still at a low level of poverty in her life. To understand the reasons Eliza is able to change and be changed into an almost Cinderella like character. With Eliza going from and growing and changing through the hardship she faces. In the play Eliza begins with no confidence and works towards having a way to reach trough from learning during her life

Toni Morrison’s short story, “Recitatif” is about two young girls, named Twyla and Roberta, who grow up in an Orphanage because their mothers were in no condition to properly take care of them. The main theme in the “Recitatif” is concentrating on racism. A very mind- grabbing event in the story is how the author never tells the race of the two girls. Morrison leaves class codes but not racial codes, as in the story Twyla states, “ It was one thing to be taken out of your own bed early in the mornings—it was something else to be stuck in a strange place with a girl from a whole other race” (pg 201) , even the girls do not mention which race the other is. Recitatif is a great story as it plays with the reader’s emotions and effectively makes the reader aware of the stereotypes and each races characteristics.

Examples Of Social Class In My Fair Lady

Higgins tries to take all of the credit for Eliza’s transformation into a lady. In his mind, Eliza did nothing and without him, she would not have been able to accomplish this task. Mr. Higgins continues to express his dominance by telling Eliza what to do even though she does not work for him. Eliza does not like the way that Mr. Higgins treats her and leaves his house, angrily. After searching for Eliza, Mr. Higgins finally finds her and tells her that he paid for her services and she needs to finish her job. In this way, he treats her as if she is

Cal And Aron Character Analysis

In the novel, Steinbeck suggests through Lee’s relationship with Cal and Aron that the world is a knowledge builder and a place of constant changes, which result in good and bad. Since Cal and Aron were young Lee has always been the paternal individual in their house, therefore when Cal has fallen to the falsehoods and sins of the world; he comes to Lee for a parental insight into his actions and how to forgive and build himself back. Steinbeck characterizes Lee as someone with few troubles and little or no sorrow, as well as someone who always has the right words or knowledge to share and help others. Yet, Lee handles himself differently. Lee has had his fair share of trials and tributes throughout his life, which has given him the outlook

We All Looked Up Characters

Eliza can be characterized in many different ways, one way is independent. Eliza can be characterized as independent because when her mom left her and her dad, Eliza had to become the person who took care of her father, who was ill with stage 3 cancer. In school, is was just her, she did not have a best friend to lean on or a boyfriend to cry on, and after the fiasco with Peter in the photo room, Eliza became an independent woman with a guise of someone who does not care. Eliza is like a birch tree in a redwood forest. She is like everyone else, but yet everyone else sees her differently because of a rumor that happened a year ago. The guise that Eliza carried around was that she slept around and partied, which was far from the truth, she had been just a girl who’s mom had left her when her father got sick trying to cover up the pain it caused. When Eliza heard those words, she became even more secluded and more independent, fighting for her place in the world. Another way Eliza can be characterized as, is selfless. Eliza can be characterized as selfless because she always put others first, before herself. Eliza did not tell her dad what was happening at school because she always wanted to tell him the good news. She never confronted the rotten girls that started the rumor about her because she cared about Peter. In the book, Eliza said to Andy: “ This may come to a shock to you, but some

The author of Recitatif, Toni Morrison, is an acclaimed writer known for her fictional stories and her explorations within the black community. Receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993 was one of her most acclaimed accomplishments. Morrison’s American Midwest family had an unfathomable appreciation and love for black culture and showed this through there many traditions and storytelling. Recitatif, a fictional short story, was written in 1983.

Feminism In Pygmalion

All throughout the play, Higgins behave rude with Eliza. Eliza, in the last act as a representative of all women trapped in patriarchal setup says the below quote to Higgins, who is the representative of all the patriarchal men in the

Behavioral Learning Theory My Fair Lady

In the movie, Higgins targeted phonological features proper of Eliza’s Cockney dialect. According to Higgins, Eliza’s accent should be modified to “transform” her into a fine lady. The undesired behavior was weakened by a series of reinforcements based on punishment and reward. Eliza was offered chocolate, for example, when she correctly pronounced a set of sentences. Once Eliza achieve the “correct” pronunciation she was offered multiple rewards. For example, she attended the Ascot Horse Race, for which she was offered a new wardrobe.

However, readers of the play may argue that Eliza and Higgins stop working together and conflict later on so that supports the theory of class struggle by Marxism. But when the two characters conflict with each other it’s not because of class struggle or anything related to hierarchy, it’s because of Eliza not accepting Higgins as a teacher as Higgins starts mistreating her so rather Eliza gives the credit for her transformation to Colonel Pickering and have constant arguments with Higgins now that she have learned the dialect of a higher class. “Mrs Higgins. I’m afraid you’ve spoiled that girl, Henry.” Eliza can also be seen as spoiled because of all those higher class ways and lifestyle she just adapted to. This type of conflict can be related to a house dispute and doesn’t show a behavior of lower class revolting against higher class to gain rights. “Liza. That’s not true. He treats a flower girl as if she was a duchess. Higgins. And I treat a duchess as if she was a flower girl.” “Higgins. The question is not whether I treat you rudely, but whether you ever heard me treat anyone else better.” As for Higgins’s personality, he always treats people with rudeness so

Pygmalion My Fair Lady Essay

She is there to take lessons for her speech. Colonel Pickering offers to pay full expenses for Higgins to tun Eliza into a lady and pass her off as a duchess. Higgins accepts.

Social Class in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and Heartbreak House

This sudden change in character shows that an upgrade in social class not only changes the way that people look at you but that it can also have many benefits as well. Going against the thesis, there is one character, Colonial Pickering. Colonial Pickering is a friend and a safe haven to Miss Doolittle. She trusts him, and with good reason, from the beginning to the end of the play, he treats her the same, like a lady. ?Colonial Pickering is a compete contrast to the character of Henry Higgins in terms of manners and behaviour. Colonial Pickering is Shaw?s evidence that wealth and poverty can mix.? (Galens and Scampinato, 245). Most characters in Pygmalion expect the rich and poor to stay separate except for the open hearted and minded, Colonial Pickering.

Theme Of Women In Pygmalion

In the Victorian England period, how a person is viewed by society determines everything. What kind of jobs are available, who it is ok to marry, and even who is acceptable to interact with. How a person is viewed can change their life for better or for worse, and sadly women during this period must work twice as hard as their male counterparts to get the crucial social respect needed to succeed in their societies. How a person appears and how they dress plays a big part on how someone is viewed, but flower-girl-turned-duchess Eliza Doolittle must learn the hard way that just because a person fits the outside criteria of a lady does not exactly mean she would be treated as so, by society and most of all her mentor Henry Higgins. Throughout the play, Pygmalion, By George Bernard Shaw, the author makes the theme of prejudice against women very apparent by the way they are treated in society and the unreasonable expectations they are held up to, making it very difficult for women like Eliza Doolittle to move up in society and be seen as equal in the eyes of those above them.

Analysis Of George Bernard Shaw 's Pygmalion

Class distinctions are made abundantly clear in Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” Eliza is representative of Shaw’s view of the English working class of the day: Crude, crass, and seemingly unintelligent yet worthy of pity. Equal criticism is leveled at the upper classes, who pass judgement upon the poor precipitated by their appearance and mannerisms. Higgins and Pickering’s attitude towards Eliza is one of derision, stemming from their difference in social status. For instance, Higgins’ open mockery of Eliza’s speech: “You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days.” (Shaw.

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George Bernard Shaw

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Professor Henry Higgins

Henry Higgins is a professor of phonetics who plays Pygmalion to Eliza Doolittle's Galatea. He is the author of Higgins' Universal Alphabet, believes in concepts like visible speech, and uses all manner of recording and photographic material to document his phonetic subjects, reducing people and their dialects into what he sees as readily understandable units. He is an unconventional man, who goes in the opposite direction from the rest of society in most matters. Indeed, he is impatient with high society, forgetful in his public graces, and poorly considerate of normal social niceties--the only reason the world has not turned against him is because he is at heart a good and harmless man. His biggest fault is that he can be a bully.

Eliza Doolittle

"She is not at all a romantic figure." So is she introduced in Act I. Everything about Eliza Doolittle seems to defy any conventional notions we might have about the romantic heroine. When she is transformed from a sassy, smart-mouthed kerbstone flower girl with deplorable English, to a (still sassy) regal figure fit to consort with nobility, it has less to do with her innate qualities as a heroine than with the fairy-tale aspect of the transformation myth itself. In other words, the character of Eliza Doolittle comes across as being much more instrumental than fundamental. The real (re-)making of Eliza Doolittle happens after the ambassador's party, when she decides to make a statement for her own dignity against Higgins' insensitive treatment. This is when she becomes, not a duchess, but an independent woman; and this explains why Higgins begins to see Eliza not as a mill around his neck but as a creature worthy of his admiration.

Colonel Pickering

Colonel Pickering, the author of Spoken Sanskrit, is a match for Higgins (although somewhat less obsessive) in his passion for phonetics. But where Higgins is a boorish, careless bully, Pickering is always considerate and a genuinely gentleman. He says little of note in the play, and appears most of all to be a civilized foil to Higgins' barefoot, absentminded crazy professor. He helps in the Eliza Doolittle experiment by making a wager of it, saying he will cover the costs of the experiment if Higgins does indeed make a convincing duchess of her. However, while Higgins only manages to teach Eliza pronunciations, it is Pickering's thoughtful treatment towards Eliza that teaches her to respect herself.

Alfred Doolittle

Alfred Doolittle is Eliza's father, an elderly but vigorous dustman who has had at least six wives and who "seems equally free from fear and conscience." When he learns that his daughter has entered the home of Henry Higgins, he immediately pursues to see if he can get some money out of the circumstance. His unique brand of rhetoric, an unembarrassed, unhypocritical advocation of drink and pleasure (at other people's expense), is amusing to Higgins. Through Higgins' joking recommendation, Doolittle becomes a richly endowed lecturer to a moral reform society, transforming him from lowly dustman to a picture of middle class morality--he becomes miserable. Throughout, Alfred is a scoundrel who is willing to sell his daughter to make a few pounds, but he is one of the few unaffected characters in the play, unmasked by appearance or language. Though scandalous, his speeches are honest. At points, it even seems that he might be Shaw's voice piece of social criticism (Alfred's proletariat status, given Shaw's socialist leanings, makes the prospect all the more likely).

Mrs. Higgins

Professor Higgins' mother, Mrs. Higgins is a stately lady in her sixties who sees the Eliza Doolittle experiment as idiocy, and Higgins and Pickering as senseless children. She is the first and only character to have any qualms about the whole affair. When her worries prove true, it is to her that all the characters turn. Because no woman can match up to his mother, Higgins claims, he has no interest in dallying with them. To observe the mother of Pygmalion (Higgins), who completely understands all of his failings and inadequacies, is a good contrast to the mythic proportions to which Higgins builds himself in his self-estimations as a scientist of phonetics and a creator of duchesses.

Freddy Eynsford Hill

Higgins' surmise that Freddy is a fool is probably accurate. In the opening scene he is a spineless and resourceless lackey to his mother and sister. Later, he is comically bowled over by Eliza, the half-baked duchess who still speaks cockney. He becomes lovesick for Eliza, and courts her with letters. At the play's close, Freddy serves as a young, viable marriage option for Eliza, making the possible path she will follow unclear to the reader.

pygmalion character essay

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pygmalion character essay

Pygmalion Eliza’s Character Analysis

The play Pygmalion is one of Bernard Shaw’s best pieces of art. The play is Shaw’s account of the young flower lady from the ghettos who was trained to talk so appropriately that she was able to be accepted as a duchess at a diplomat’s garden party. The story later became famous as it inspired the film My Fair Lady, a musical drama film adapted from the play. We are introduced to the character Eliza Doolittle, the daughter of Alfred Doolittle as an easy-going young lady. She progresses along with the play, grows in stature, and has outperformed her maker in numerous ways. This paper focuses on the excerpt of the Pygmalion part II in Higgins’ laboratory, where Eliza is portrayed as rebellious, humble, and with a great sense of humor.

Eliza is rebellious, and although the author portrays her as attractively rebellious. The first act of rebellion is seen when Eliza returns to Higgins’ laboratory in his home. Even though Higgins sends her away when he recognizes her after he had sent her away the previous evening, “Why, is this girl I jotted down last night, 428.” Higgins claims that he has already recorded a lot of her type of “Lisson grove Lingo” and was unwilling to spend more time on it. Eliza is rebellious and insists that her proposition will interest Higgins. Secondly, when Higgins asks Eliza to sit down, she rebels bewilderedly, and she has to be asked repeatedly,” sit down, girl. Do as youre told, 429″.

Humble and Modest; Eliza comes out as humble. On hearing that Eliza came in a taxi, Professor Higgins challenges Eliza to ride in many taxis as possible in the future. Professor Higgins tells Eliza that in the end, she will be able to ride in a taxi every day, and he tells him that while she thinks about her future, she should also think about gold, diamonds, and chocolates. Eliza insists that she is a good girl and is not interested in gold and diamonds, “No: I don’t want no gold and no diamonds. I’m a good girl, 432.”

Eliza Doolittle is portrayed as a wellspring of great humor. She entertains us significantly by coming to the place of Professor Higgins and letting his maid know that she wishes to meet with the Professor as her guide to train her in communicating in English. She would pay the Professor his charge for the lessons. She again entertains us while, when asked the amount she proposes to pay, she answers that he ought to be happy with pushing for every illustration. “Now you’re talking, I thought you’d come off it when you saw a chance of getting back a bit of what you chucked at me last night, 429”, she says in a tone of conclusion.

As this paper demonstrates, Eliza is rebellious, humble, and with a great sense of humor. The author brings out Higgins’s personality using his acts. He is “violently interested in everything that can be studied as a scientific project.” This shows that Higgins does not have dignity for humanity and would be very willing to experiment on human beings just like any other specimens. Although, Higgins is forthright and without any ingenuity or vindictiveness. I can’t entirely agree with this imagery used by the author as I believe that despite having a professional relationship like Higgins and Eliza, humanity is vital for its fruition.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, Pages 428-433

Rai, Emmanuel. N.p., 2022. Web. 20 June 2022.

Xiaowei, Z. O. U. “A Study on Feminism of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.” Studies in Literature and Language 17.3 (2018): 6-9.

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Character Analysis on Pygmalion

“Character Analysis on Pygmalion”

Living in neediness and battling from everyday can be an extremely troublesome approach to carry on life. Majority of us, if given the open door, would endeavor to roll out improvements to our lives and our circumstance on the off chance that we could. Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw that recounts the tale of a poor, youthful blossom young lady who has been disregarded and ignored in light of her appearance and way she talks.

Notwithstanding the hard life, she’s still brimming with hope and dreams after the future, as it is revealed by the “”decorates”” on the divider in her ratty hotel and the fantasies she regularly has in her little piggery. She plans to be a woman in a bloom shop as opposed to offering at the side of Totten ham Court Road, however is denied in view of her accent which was dreadful.

The factor that keeps her focused on her destiny is that Eliza knows how to grasp opportunities when come to her. For instance overwhelmed Higgins gloats that the teacher can make her a duchess, she instantly grabs the open door and makes a visit to Higgins. This is the defining moment of her life; that is, the start of her change. Without the free character and the capacity to settle on right choices and right decisions, Eliza would have remained a poor blossom young lady all her life.

Eliza shows her determination once more by developing interest in Higgin`s life. Eliza enters Higgins’ living room with unexpected reasons. Her efforts to impress Higgins are seen at a point where she asks a character by the name, Mrs Pearce,Did you tell I’m that I came in Taxi?She needs to get used to white collar class behavior that both Higgins and her dad loathe. Eliza’s optimal is to noticeably become an individual from the respectable white collar class, and with a specific end goal to do as such, she should learn appropriate elocution and behavior. Yet, at that point we see that regardless of the first thought, Eliza’s fantastic endeavors to ace her lessons have their bases in the way that she has built up a “”doglike”” commitment to her two bosses ” a dedication which Higgins will at last reject and which Eliza will eventually announce herself free of in the following phase of her improvement.

While in company of Higgins, Eliza shows that she wasn’t assured of her security and this is the reason why she replies quit weird when Higgin saidsomebody is going to touch you with broomstick.Eliza on her side responded by sayingOne would think you are my father,this was an indication of the wrath she faced from her father. She also kept on doubting her own character and that is why she repeatedly says “I`m a good girl”.

The last two paragraphs depict Eliza as a completely changed person who is responsible for her own dignity unlike in the beginning where is portrayed as being a victim of circumstances. She is portrayed as a person who has temper control ,and who completely forgone life of characterized by vulgarity.

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Pygmalion Character Analysis

pygmalion character essay

Show More The Flower Girl’s Great Transformation “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” In George Bernard Shaw’s fictional play, Pygmalion, Liza Doolittle also known as The Flower Girl, is the protagonist and is under an experiment for six months. Liza lives with two old gentlemen, Professor Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering. She later discovers her new identity, a better lifestyle where there is education , etiquettes, social class , and fashion. Liza’s transition reveals she values self-respect, is bold, and fair. Initially, Liza is a woman that goes with the phrase, give respect and take respect, she realizes her individual importance. Although she keeps herself in a different world, is …show more content… It is astounding that Higgins is able to pass Liza off as a choice and Hungarian royalty at that, merely by altering her appearance and speech. The wealthy are so shallow they cannot see past Liza's appearance. The rich have the title of rich, but not the rich character, these people may have wealth, and a lot of money, but not a rich heart, a clean, good heart. These people will always have a poor heart because of the way they think, they are narrow-minded. Pygmalion addresses the social misfortunes in England at the turn of the century. Victorian England was characterized by extreme class division and limited to no social movement. Language separated the elite from the lower class. In Pygmalion, Liza's dialect prevents her from acquiring a job in a flower shop; this play is about the universal truth that all people are worthy of respect and dignity, from the wealthy nobleman to the beggar on the street corner. Rich man like Higgins will always have wrong intentions and a cheap mind that is why he treats and keeps her like one. Pickering on the other hand a less rich man treats her with his good mind, clean and warming/comforting heart. It all comes down to society and social class. The way people think and how they think depends on their thought and class. However, one needs to be rich from …show more content… People can have different self-concept depending on who he or she is communicating with. They can change based on what impression they want to give to others. When a girl communicates with her parents, she forms her identity as a daughter as her self-concept, and acts accordingly. But with other people, for example her group of friends she may form his self-concept differently, more openly. Also people judge others based on social class. The upper class has its own thinking and the middle class has its own, both are very distinct. There are those that behave nicely and the others that will always be rude and fail to understand other people’s feelings. The quote packs double meaning by stating clearly that what is needed is not just one's affectation of dignity, while her delivery is proof of the statement itself as she has grown enough to make such a clever

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pygmalion character essay

George Bernard Shaw

Everything you need for every book you read., eliza doolittle, henry higgins, colonel pickering, clara eynsford hill, freddy eynsford hill.

Pygmalion PDF

Alfred Doolittle

Mrs. higgins, ezra d. wannafeller.

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pygmalion character essay

The Character of Henry Higgins in Pygmalion

Shaw has often been criticized for his inability to create well- developed round characters. His characters are usually seen as mere puppets propelled by the crisis of the plot or as mouthpieces for his socialist viewpoint. However in Pygmalion,, Shaw vindicates himself of these charges by the creation of rounded and life-like characters such as Higgins and Eliza. Clearly they are not authorial stooges. They have a peculiar quality that leaves a lasting imprint on the reader's memory. But there is some truth in the charge that Shaw created a mouthpiece for his own ideas and the character of Alfred Doolittle is a case in point. While Doolittle is undoubtedly a staple comic character, he is an artificial and flat one. Doolittle is there for a purpose - he serves Shaw's didactic needs. As such he is in the Dickens' vein of exaggeration. Doolittle's character is drawn for the sole purpose of ridiculing the Victorian philosophy of the "undeserving poor." One cannot imagine such a character existing in real life. On the whole, however, Pygmalion is peopled with imaginative and lively characters. While Higgins and Eliza are excellent, even the minor characters are well drawn. Henry Higgins Higgins is an extremely interesting character and the life of the play . Although the play's obvious concern is the metamorphosis of a common flower girl into a duchess, the development of Higgins' character is also important. The play isn't only Eliza's story. One also detects changes in Higgins or to be more precise he appears to the reader in a new light at the end. This is seen when he tells Eliza that he has grown accustomed to seeing her face and hearing her voice. This is not much of a sensitive display of emotions but it is quite diffe... ... middle of paper ... ...ough the character of Higgins. It is obvious that Higgins's manners are not much better than those of the Covent Garden flower girl. In fact Higgins comes off much worse because of the fact that he has had all the civilizing benefits of wealth and education yet he is rude to the point of being boorish and ill mannered, is given to frequent inflammatory outbursts, and possesses abominable table manners. The fact that such an ill- mannered person is accepted by society as a "gentleman" provides Shaw with an opportunity to expose the shallowness and hypocrisy of such a society. Shaw thus critiques a society that views wealth and the ability to speak correctly as the constitutive criteria of a prescriptive gentleman. It is one of Shaw's master ironic strokes to make such a rude and boorish egotistical bully the main agent for transforming a common flower girl into a lady.

In this essay, the author

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pygmalion character essay

George Bernard Shaw

Character Analysis Eliza Doolittle

Shaw's story of the flower girl from the slums who was taught to speak so properly that she was able to pass as a duchess at an ambassador's garden party is perhaps one of the best known works by Shaw, partly because of the popularity of the play which, in turn, inspired a more sentimentalized version in a popular movie and, later, became one of the world's most popular musical comedies, My Fair Lady, using Shaw's broad outlines, but turning the play from a study in manners to a sentimental love story between pupil and master.

The character of Eliza is best seen by the progression which she makes from "a thing of stone," "a nothingness," a "guttersnipe," and a "squashed cabbage leaf' to the final act where she is an exquisite lady — totally self-possessed, a person who has in many ways surpassed her creator. In the opening act, the audience cannot know that beneath the mud and behind the horrible speech sounds stands the potential of a great "work of art." This carries through the Pygmalion-Galatea theme in which a crude piece of marble is transformed into a beautiful statue. It is not until the third act, when Eliza makes her appearance at Mrs. Higgins' house, that we know that Eliza possesses a great deal of native intelligence, that she has a perfect ear for all sorts of sounds, an excellent ability at reproducing sounds, a superb memory, and a passionate desire to improve herself.

In the first act, Shaw takes great pains to hide all of Eliza's basic qualities. He shows her not only as a person who completely violates the English language, but, more important, he shows her as a low, vulgar creature — totally without manners. We see her initially as a low-class flower girl who vulgarly tries to solicit money from a well-dressed gentleman, Colonel Pickering, and then as a young girl who is vulgarly familiar to another gentleman (Freddy Eynsford-Hill, who ironically wants her to be familiar with him when she becomes a lady); last, we see her as a person who is obnoxious in her protestations when she thinks that she is about to be accused of prostitution. Thus, what Shaw has done is to let us listen to a flower girl who totally violates the English language and who is a total vulgarian in terms of language. The change in Eliza's pronunciation will come about because of Higgins' lessons in phonetics, but the important change, and the real subject of the play, is the change that will come about in Eliza's manners — something which even Higgins cannot teach her because he has no manners himself.

Eliza arrives at Higgins' laboratory-living room for rather ironic reasons. She wants to adopt middle-class manners that both Higgins and her father despise. Eliza's ideal is to become a member of the respectable middle class, and in order to do so, she must learn proper pronunciation and manners. But then we notice that in spite of the original motive, Eliza's monumental efforts to master her lessons have their bases in the fact that she has developed a "doglike" devotion to her two masters — a devotion which Higgins will ultimately reject and which Eliza will ultimately declare herself independent of in the next stage of her development.

In both Acts IV and V, Eliza is seen as a completely transformed person, outwardly. She is poised, dignified, in control of her once spitfire temper, and she has rejected all of the old common vulgarity of her past life. She is no longer willing to be Higgins' creation; she now asserts her own independence. But it is an independence which demands values from life which Higgins cannot give her. Unlike Higgins, who wants to change the world, Eliza wants only to change herself. Unlike Higgins, who can and does stand apart from the common aspects of life, Eliza can be content with Freddy, who simply needs and wants her as a compassionate human being. And whereas Higgins can get along without anyone, Eliza and Freddy need each other. In contrast, Higgins will continue to try to improve the world, while Eliza will make a comfortable home for herself and Freddy.

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