Personal Response to Pygmalion

After reading Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, the ending immediately grasps my attention. The end of the play leaves us with numerous scenarios and different endings. In particular I enjoy how we are able to decide what happens at the end and ultimately what happens to Eliza. This ending allows us to imagine her happy or unhappy ending and what she does with all the new skills she has acquired. This finishing of the play stood out to me because unlike other plays where there is often a happy ending, we see that in Pygmalion the ending is ambiguous. The effect this has on the reader is that it creates a sense of mystery and gives the audience something to ponder after the play is over. It also makes us question whether or not it was all worth it in the end. All of the effort Eliza put into becoming a lady, did she reach her end goal? Was she able to sell flowers at a flower shop?

The difference in characters between Higgens and Colonel Pickering caught my attention. The two of them working together everyday in efforts to help Eliza become a “lady in a flower shop” and both of them being very good friends is interesting to me as I notice how different their characters are. Higgins is upfront, brutal and often rude, whereas Colonel Pickering was shown to be kind, warmhearted and tender. The drastic differences when they spoke to Eliza was the most evident difference in characters. Colonel Pickering was polite and understanding of Eliza where Huggins was always yelling and picking fights. This made me question how Higgins and Colonel Pickering got along so well if they treated others so differently. We also see the difference in characters when Higgins and Pickering go over to Mrs. Higgins home. Pickering was polite and greeted everybody accordingly while Higgins was away in the corner speaking his mind. This particular duo was interesting to read about and discover how their relationship was despite their differences. 

The character development of Eliza also stood out to me while watching and reading the play. We see that she is introduced as a lower class flower girl with an outrageous and irritating accent. We can see that her sense of manners and her overall attitude did not depict a “lady” or someone in the upper class. With help from Higgins we see that by the end of the play she is transformed into a whole other person, but at what cost? Eliza mentions how she was happy selling flowers on the street and she mentions how she wished they had never helped her. We do not get to truly know if Eliza is happy with the transformation and if she ever became that lady in the flower shop. Her character starts off constantly complaining and very impatient and whiny but as the play goes on she develops into this confident, polite, and ladylike woman. 


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