Pygmalion Personal Response

In the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw I noticed how the author makes Higgins an apathetic person showing how he refers to Eliza as if she is an object with no feelings, useful and something that they can make advantage of her.

During the play, we see how from Higgins and Eliza meeting each other along the street, to Higgins teaching Eliza to be a lady as she wanted to. However, their relationship is something peculiar as Higgins treats Eliza as an object. When Eliza was a flower lady, Higgins treated her with no respect for being from the lower class.   She arrived to his house to ask him for English classes, during this discussion, Higgins is prejudicing Eliza for being poor:

PICKERING: Does it occur to you, Higgins, that the girl has feelings?

HIGGINS (looking critically at her): Oh no, I dont think so. Not any feelings that we need bother about. Have you Eliza?


No matter that Eliza asked polite for classes, Higgins looked down at her not caring about her feelings.

Later on the book, after the argument between Higgins and Eliza because she feels invisible for Higgins and Pickering and they just care about their success and that the bet is over. Eliza leaves the house without telling Higgins and Pickering. They called the police not knowing she was with Mrs. Higgins. Higgins just wanted to find her because she is useful for his daily tasks. Higgins and Pickering went with Mrs. Higgins to talk about it:

PICKERING: The inspector made a lot of difficulties. I really think he suspected us of some improper purpose.

MRS HIGGINS: Well, of course he did. What right have you to go to the police and give the girl’s name as she were a thief, or a lost umbrella, or something? Really!


Eliza’s purpose for the argument was for Higgins to realize how he was hurting her feelings. Higgins thought of her as a selfish girl. And when she disappeared, Higgins just wanted her back because she is useful for his tasks. He was not even planning to apologize. The author shows in Mrs. Higgins’ reaction an affirmation of Higgins’ behavior towards Eliza.

Near the end of the play, Eliza tells Higgins that she could marry Freddy. But Higgins disagree about that:

HIGGINS: Can he make anything of you? Thats the point

LIZA: Perhaps I could make something of him. But I never thought of us making anything og one another; and you never think of anything else. I only want to be normal.


The author shows us that Eliza is reaffirming that he only takes advantage of people.  And she just wants to be an educated lady.

The different scenarios that the author makes creates the personality of Higgins. Showing us how apathetic he is by referring to Eliza as an object no matter her social status. I do not like the personality of Higgins because people need to learn to care about others’ feelings and to respect them. However, Higgins makes the play more interesting and it made me want to read more.

I really liked the “well-made play” in this play. It gives the play a twist. It also allows the reader to think about what could have happened before and after the time that the play is taking place. I liked how in a short play there can be lots of changes of circumstances.