The play Pygmalion by Geroge B Shaw is set in the early 20th century, at the end of the Victorian period in England. Shaw uses language to identify the strict hierarchy that is portrayed in the play.
Higgins did not try to get to know her and got straight into tutoring Eliza on manners and speech. In act IV, Higgins is proud that his tutoring was successful. Higgins and Pickering chats about how the experiment is getting “rather boring” knowing that Eliza is in the same room with them. In this scene it is clear that Higgins views her as an experiment and does not take her feelings into account. Higgins is so focused on his academic interests that he lacks empathy for not only Eliza but others too. As the play gets near the end, Eliza notices that Higgins is no more than a person who only cares about his success. His arrogance and his impoliteness result in Eliza growing a strong hatred towards Higgings. I think watching the play made it easier for me to see the strong dislike that is portrayed in the book. It seemed like Eliza was going through an emotional rollercoaster in Act V when she threw the slipper at Higgings out of rage but moments later decided to pick up the ring from the stove. Eliza is not afraid to stand up for herself even though it is against a person who is in a higher class, Eliza makes sure her feelings and opinions are communicated thoroughly but at the same time somewhat takes Higgings’s feelings into consideration.
Pickering was one of the few characters who were kind to Eliza despite her class, the way she spoke and her manners. Pickering referred to her as Ms.Doolittle instead of Eliza which shows respect and kindness. Pickering and Higgins had very different personalities whilst being good friends was surprising to me as they never had an argument.
I liked how Shaw left the play somewhat ambiguous as to whether or not Eliza opens her flower shop or whom she marries. I personally didn’t like how the play left the ending a mystery, although I think I prefer this over a cliche romance novel ending.