Pygmalion PR

After reading Pygmalion I found myself questioning whether it was morally right for Eliza to have left Higgins without anything in thanks for what he did for her. However, there are very valid points from both sides that make this a really difficult situation. In Higgins’ case, he has essentially created a new and much-improved life for Eliza, he taught Eliza how to speak proper English and how to act like a “lady”, which would help her to obtain a working-class job and no longer have to work selling flowers in the street. Eliza’s future looks much brighter now, but for Eliza, Higgins didn’t want to help her sincerely; it was initially a bet for him to improve her English and “ladylike” manners. When we approach the end of the play Higgins obviously cares about Eliza but his ego wouldn’t let him admit it. This leads to Eliza believing that in reality, she was just a piece in a bet for Higgins, so Eliza running away really makes sense. Why would she want to stay with someone when she has no value to them? It’s hard to come to a conclusion on this.

 

Eliza’s new lover also gives her another reason to leave which creates a lot of anger in Higgins. Freddy and Eliza had been exchanging love letters after they had met at Mrs. Higgins, not only does this help give Eliza confidence to go out into the world, Higgins is obviously angry about this and makes fun of Freddy calling him an idiot. I think that comment was Eliza’s last straw, Higgins was further showing he is a very self-centred person with that comment because anyone else other than his friends would be considered idiots. Additionally, this shows that Higgins doesn’t really care that much about Eliza, he really just wants a sense of ownership over her, which is very similar to Torvald in “A Doll’s House”, a man losing a woman hence losing a relationship that makes him feel powerful. However once again we are met with the fact that Eliza wouldn’t even have the choice of having a middle-class lover if it wasn’t for Higgins, so we are still left with an unanswerable question. What would the morally correct thing to do be for Eliza?

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