Personal Response: Pygmalion

George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion shows the language as a class barrier, Shaw underscores the unbending progressive system of English society through an assortment of characters at various socioeconomic levels. The power of language to get through friendly obstructions is completely acknowledged in Eliza’s change, it’s that she can take only Higgins language which cuts her off from her previous life. One of the symbols in the play is mirror. In act II, Eliza is shocked to find a mirror in her new bathroom, she doesn’t know which way to look and finally hangs a towel over it. It represents the moment Eliza unguardedly sees herself as she truly is, dirty, disheveled and far from ladylike in her personal habits. Eliza’s glimpse in the mirror reveals to her the need for a change and the result of taking a shower proves that is possible, thus the mirror symbolizes self-awareness and identity. Appearance and identity serve as indicators of social class, language, dress, wealth, manners and morality, these signs are superficial. The transformation that Eliza, a poor flower girl turns into a self-reliant woman. It occurs under the tutelage of Higgins. He didn’t realize that his experiment represented a more important transformation than class. It was the awakening of Eliza’s soul. However, I was a piece baffle about the completion since I don’t comprehend why Eliza said she stands alone yet still feels like she needs to remain with Higgins. 

Higgins is careless about people’s feelings, this trait becomes most evident in his experiment of Eliza whom he transforms from a flower girl into an upper class lady, his inability to see and treat Eliza as anything more than an experiment forces her to take a stand of independence unchanged by the end of the play. Mrs. Higgins soon discerns the problems that her son’s experiment will cause for Eliza; her affection for Higgins does not shield her irritation at his lack of manners. I like Mrs. Higgins a lot because she is intelligent and perceptive. I actually think the speechless thing is the means by which Higgins took Eliza in while never considering what might befall her a short time later. I feel like at last Higgins doesn’t want to part with Eliza because he doesn’t want to let go of his creation, his successful experiment result. Anyhow, the film was interesting to watch.

 

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