Personal Response to Pygmalion


I kind of enjoyed reading this story, but there were also times where I didn’t like it as well. For example the way Higgins talked to everyone kinda of made me feel as if he saw himself as someone who is better then everyone else, as well as not knowing he’s offending people at times without even knowing he is, the same goes for Cornell Pickering. I also feel as if they have no filter on how to talk to people and knowing what they are saying. Higgins doesn’t change how he talks for anyone not even his own mother, his mother has to tell him when he is being rude or says something he’s not supposed to.

Also while reading this I felt bad for Eliza because Higgins and Pickering only saw Eliza as a bet and not as a human being, but rather a project. Not only that but this story made me think and wonder why people have to change who they are and how they talk to get a job, or anything else in life. Eliza said that she wanted to be a flower girl in a shop but couldn’t be not only because of the way she looks, but also because of the way she talks as well. This then causes Eliza to go to Higgins to help her change the way she talks just to get a job.

This book has also made me release that even if you don’t have much, if you work hard enough and push through all the troubles that come across your path, you can achieve what you want. I had released this when reading about Eliza and her determination to be a Flower girl in shop, evening if that ment she had to put up with a rude and openly honest man to do so. Having gone through with all of that she had become a lady and accomplished becoming a lady and could now work in a flower shop. This had made me feel that if I believe and really want something with enough determination I can accomplish it, just like Eliza had with wanting to be a girl in the flower shop.

Overall though I had enjoyed this book and would recommend it to my family and friends who haven’t heard of or read this book before. Minus the things I had just said it was a very interesting book to me, and had also made me released something’s as well.

Pygmalion Personal Response

Pygmalion by Shaw George Benard was a provoking play that emphasizes the complexities of human interactions and the interaction between classes. One of the most important lessons Eliza teaches is that if you keep elevating and improving yourself in life, it’s nearly impossible to go back to the way you were. Two things stood out for me in the play: Higgins’s resemblance to Torvald from A Doll’s House and the femininity shown by Shaw among the different social classes.

I had many mixed emotions about the characters in the play, specifically Higgins. Though he was a selfish, arrogant, prideful man, and I didn’t like how he interacted with Eliza, I felt bad for him in the same way that I was left wondering what would happen to Torvald and his kids when Nora just left. Just the way Torvald had provided everything to Nora, he did the same with Eliza. He gave her everything from a house, clothes, and food and made her a beautiful lady accepted into society. However, like Torvald, even after giving her everything, he didn’t give her respect as a person. But instead, he looked at her as if she was his creation and had to reach his perfecting expectations. Higgins did not bother to even take a second to recognize Eliza but rather made her feel like she was no use to anyone. He Higgins tells Mrs. Pearce that Eliza is “no use to anyone but me.” This shows how he views Eliza as a lesser being with no feelings.

Pygmalion is an excellent example of feminist criticism in literature. Male domination over females is apparent throughout the play. Shaw portrayed how being a lady impacted how you were regarded throughout the Victorian era. Women were expected to act in a certain way–the stereotypical lady-like way, where some women have to work, and others don’t. This is evident in the treatment of the flower girl when she interacts with the daughter and mother in act 1. The daughter looked down upon her, and when her mother was giving her money for the ruined flowers, she stated
“Make her give you the change.”
This ill-treatment can be inferred because of the flower girl’s speech and appearance. However, the second time they meet again, they meet Eliza, a beautiful, fair woman who has excellent speech, is listened to and treated nicely.

Shaw demonstrates femininity among the different social classes through many charters who had specific roles and boundaries. He also shows the fixed roles all these women had: Eliza, the poor flower girl; Ms. Pierce, the house help; and Ms. Higgins, an upper-class lady who had a home and raised her family. He shows through three characters that these fixed roles and specific definitions of femininity are artificial. Through the transformed Eliza, there is a new vision of a woman. A woman who is educated, career-minded, and self-reliant.

Altogether, it was an interesting play to read and observe how much appearances in the Victorian time meant and how people were meant to act in their specific social class. Eliza is a woman who is now considered a fair lady and not just a flower girl to bring up her status in society. After declaring her independence to Higgins, she is now free and an independent woman. However, now that her outer appearance has changed, I was left with her question: Is she really better off?

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.


Pygmalion PR

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.  


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. 


Pygmalion Personal Response

Reading Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw gives me a contradictory feeling towards the main characters, Higgin and Eliza. I really enjoyed the form of a well-made play in Pygmalion; the rising action of Higgins creating his “Galatea” through Eliza was exciting, and the climax was unexpected. 

Higgins is a self-centred, narcissistic, cold-hearted man by the way he treats the people around him. He does not care about anyone but himself, and whenever people point out his mistakes, he would just make up excuses or even blame it on others. At the start of the play, he is portrayed as the notetaker; he observes people not as real human beings but as objects that help him with his studies; it suggests that everything to Higgins is nothing but an experiment, and he is unable to show compassion towards people. Of course, Eliza is also a victim of Higgins’ experiment, “It’s the most absorbing experiment I ever tackled. She regularly fills our lives up: doesn’t she, Pick?” (P.43) This indicates that Higgins is only helping Eliza to fulfill his boredom. 

Even though Higgins is presented as a cold-hearted monster, George Bernard Shaw creates Higgins in a way that makes audiences have conflicting emotions toward him by being generous towards Eliza. On the surface, Higgins did not do any wrong to Eliza, and he teaches her how to become a lady as she asked. He cultures her, buys her new clothes and even allows Eliza to stay at his place. Higgins has never asked for anything in return. It is not Higgins’ fault for Eliza being attached to him emotionally. Similar to Torvald in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, both characters are viewed as antagonists in the beginning, but as the story develops, we get to learn more about the characters and acknowledge that both characters are flawed like we are all and there isn’t a real ‘antagonist.’ 

People argue that this play displays male chauvinism through Higgins. However, I do not entirely agree. Higgins did not treat Eliza poorly just because she was a woman or in a lower class. Multiple pieces of evidence show that Higgins treats people the same regardless of their gender or social class; for example, he doesn’t seem to care about Mrs. Eysnford Hill on the at-homes day and even forgets about the gentleman at the party. He even says, “About you, not about me. If you come back, I shall treat you just as I have always treated you. I can’t change my nature, and I don’t change my manners. My manners are exactly the same as Colonel Pickering.”(p.66) It is Higgins’ rude and cruel personality that causes his behaviour. Male chauvinism does not seem to be displayed by Higgins.

Eliza is emotionally attached to Higgins, this can be seen in the stage directions and dialogue between characters. For example, after the conflict, she threw away the ring that Higgins gave her but picked it up after he left. After all the cruelty that Eliza has been through, why does she still feel the need to stay? Why does she pick up the ring after she threw it away? There are two possible reasons that she picked up the ring, she either thinks that the ring is valuable and shouldn’t be wasted, or the ring relates to Higgins, and it is a symbol of an emotional bond between them. Mrs. Higgins also states, Mrs. Higgins:

“The girl is naturally rather affectionate, I think. Isn’t she, Mr. Doolittle?” “Just so. She had become attached to you both. She worked very hard for you, Henry! I don’t think you quite realize what anything in the nature of brain work means to a girl like that. Well, it seems that when the great day of trial came, and she did this wonderful thing for you without making a single mistake, you two sat there and never said a word to her, but talked together of how glad you were that it was all over and how you had been bored with the whole thing. And then you were surprised because she threw your slippers at you! I should have thrown the fire-irons at you”(p.60) 

If Eliza is not emotionally attached to Higgins, why would she get so upset if Higgins says he is glad that it is over and does not applaud her after the party? It is heartbreaking for Eliza to know that she is not as important as she thinks she is to Higgins and that Higgins only treats her as his ‘lab rat’. 


Pygmalion Personal Response

In Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw presents ideas around social classes and gender using the characteristics of Eliza and Higgins. This is especially evident when it comes to Higgins being childish and Eliza being irritating.

Eliza Doolittle is presented as a low social class flower girl, annoying and asking higher class people for money. Shaw shows her as a person who completely violates the English language. Eliza annoys Higgins, for example when Higgins says “You have caused me to lose my temper: a thing that has hardly ever happened to me before.” (p.53). This quote lets us notice how Eliza has the ability to irritate Higgins, more than most people. Shaw uses Eliza’s character traits to develop readers’ perception of her as annoying and needy. Inturn Shaw develops a relationship between annoyance and low social classes and uses Eliza as a representation of the generalization of the ignorant and poor.

However, Eliza’s nuisance of a character could be related to the way Higgins and Pickering treat her. Since Higgins and Pickering met Eliza, they acted child-like, by making a bet in regards to Eliza’s improvement in language and manners. It’s even pointed out when Mrs. Higgins says “You certainly are a pretty pair of babies, playing with your live doll”. This shows how normal men played with women like they were dolls in the early 1900s.

Shaw’s use of characterization shows how annoying Eliza Doolittle is, and how childlike Higgins and Pickering are. There are likely many reasons why her character is irritating. Possibly the way she’s treated by society, for being a young, lower-class woman with a loud voice and a disgusting impossible-to-understand accent has resulted in her annoying character. Or rather is the perception of her character as annoying caused by these factors. Shaw raises awareness of our own personal biases of character perceptions. Similarly, Higgins and Pickering manipulate a poor young woman, changing her future for a childish bet. This represents the little care men have for woman’s lives.

Pygmalion Personal Response

Pygmalion by George B. Shaw was one of the most stressful plays that I have read and watched, not only did the old english make it difficult to read, but the accents made it harder to watch.

The story went from being slow to fast in a heart beat. First, the introduction of the characters felt unnecessarily long, when they were fighting about who was going to pay and when her dad came over and started negotiating it was also unnecessarily long. The part that needed to be the longest was when they were teaching her how to speak and how to pronounce certain letters, but, they never showed it. The party, the long awaited party, was not even on the book, they had to added to the movie.

The end is anticlimactic, because she finally talked back to them after being through months of abuse, she finally “stood up”, if that’s what you even call it. Out of all of the book we’ve read, this one is the one that made me angrier because of the fact that this poor woman was taken advantage of, used and disposed like an old rag.

When Mr. Pickering and Mr. Higgins were talking after the party in Mr. Higgins’ studio and Eliza was on the corner not being ignored but also not acknowledged, used like a maid they could order around.

I liked that in the end she escaped to Mrs. Higgins’ house, the only place she was treated like an equal and not a stray dog they picked up from the street. Overall I will say this is my least favourite book that we have read all this year.

PR: Pygmalion

The play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is a more open to interpretation version of a typical romance play. Probably the biggest thing that sets Pygmalion aside from other plays of its time is its non conclusive ending. Unlike the typical or “cheesy” play known as the Well-made Play, Pygmalion ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, except there is no sequel – and there need not be one. Pygmalion ends with a fight between Eliza Doolittle, one of the main characters, who was a poor flower girl that was transformed into a duchess by Henry Higgins, and Higgins himself. In typical Well-made Play fashion, this play would have ended much more pleasantly. Because the whole play revolves around Higgins teaching Eliza to become a “lady”, and because the play is based around the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, it would be expected that Higgins turns Eliza into his ideal wife, and they get married and live happily ever after. However, this is not the case. Although the ending is left to interpretation, Shaw himself concludes in the epilogue of the play that Eliza and Higgins would never marry, and Eliza instead marries Freddy, a side character from earlier in the play. This may seem like an unsatisfying ending for some, but I however think it raises questions – like what happens to Eliza and Higgins, and how does the “new Eliza” fit into her new social class? Is she accepted? Because of this is more interesting than if the play had ended with Higgins and Eliza marrying like expected.

The hate Eliza developed for Higgins can be seen throughout the play. From the beginning when Higgins called her by “Eliza” whereas Pickering (Higgins’s partner with Eliza’s teaching) referred to her as “Ms. Doolittle”. The difference that is explained at the end of the book for the reason that Eliza dislikes Higgins and not so much Pickering can be summed up to this quote:

Liza: “That’s not true. [Pickering] treats a flower girl as if she was a duchess.”

Higgins: “And I treat a duchess as if she were a flower girl.”

(p. 66)

This contrast between how Pickering and Higgins respect others plays a big role in why Eliza came to despise Higgins.

Although I would have liked Higgins and Eliza to get along in the end, the surprising ending of the big fight was more intriguing and leaves room for the mind to guess what happens next. Of course Shaw comes in during the epilogue clearing some parts of the story up, but having this room to let your mind decide what happens next is one reason why this play was enjoyable to read. Instead of being left with a dry, expected ending, or even a sad one, the reader is left to decide what becomes of Eliza and Higgins. I personally would like to think that Eliza opens up her flower shop and that Higgins and her still eventually have some contact with each other, even whether that means Higgins seeing her in her flower shop.

Overall the play was interesting and not very predictable which made it exciting to read. The occasional witty humour was enjoyable, and so was watching the development of characters, especially Eliza.

Pygmalion PR

After reading and watching the movie Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw I found myself asking a lot of questions about the classism and morality of each of the characters. 

I felt like this book works really well at showing how classism was so prevalent at this time and how it still is now. In the book, Higgins immediately treats Eliza like she is worth less than him and is not even worth his time because she is poor and living on the street. As the book carries on and Higgins and Pickering do Eliza’s makeover they still both treat Eliza like she doesn’t matter to them and like they are too good for her, even though they made her look like a lady they still treat her as if she is poor and just their object. Even today most people who are comfortable in life and have money look down on poor people as if they aren’t human and don’t matter as much just because they can’t afford a house, food, or anything else. Higgins also doesn’t have great morality, this is shown with how rude he is when he speaks to Eliza, his mothers guests, and almost everyone else, he treats Eliza like an object and even says she has no feelings. Although Higgins acted this way I do believe that Eliza should have left differently and not have left Higgins and Pickering without even a thank you for everything they did for her.

Overall this is a very good book and movie that allows for a lot more in-depth thoughts about everything going on in the world. 

Pygmalion PR

(This is a bad PR, I wrote this with a headache)

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw Is an odd adaptation of the original Greek myth, and also had amazing character development. The original Greek myth of pygmalion, the sculptor falls in love with his sculpture that he created. In this adaptation I find that it may seem different but actually much more similar than expected. At a glance we can see that professor Higgins makes Eliza a woman, and according to the Greek myth Higgins should fall in love with Eliza but that isn’t what happens in the play. At the end of the play Eliza says to Higgins, “Buy them yourself (p.72) after he requests she pick up a few things while she’s out. This is different from the myth as no love relationship happens however I noticed that Higgins in a way did begin to “love” Eliza(love as in like a friend or family not as a lover). I noticed this when he asked her to be his adopted daughter, “I’ll adopt you as my daughter and settle money on you (p.69).” Although he is in a way using her, the fact that he doesn’t just let her go completely, and instead still wants a connection with her makes me think he has begun to gain feelings towards Eliza(feelings as in for a friend or family). If we look at Eliza at the beginning of the play she is no better than a statue to Higgins however at the end he having some sort of feelings for Eliza symbolizes how Pygmalion falls in love with his sculpture.

This play also has amazing character and development of the characters. All the characters in the play are very interesting and it’s enjoyable to see how they interact with each other. I think my favourite interaction between characters is Henry Higgins and his mother Mrs. Higgins. Henry, who is very egocentric and believes he is extremely smart talks to his mother who isn’t egocentric but is in reality much smarter than Henry. I loved reading the part when Henry and Pickering try and guess the problem that eliza has and Mrs. Higgins responds with, “No, you two infinitely stupid male creatures (p.44).” This was interesting because Henry throughout the play is known as a very intelligent human but seeing him be called stupid by his mother was oth funny and interesting to me. 

The character development in this play is also worth mentioning. I’ve already talked about Higgins feelings for Eliza as the play goes on however Eliza has interesting character development as well. At the beginning of the play Eliza is not submissive at all, and won’t listen without whining and yapping. Throughout the play she begins to help Higgins with his things and does what she is told to do. However near the end of the play she reverts back to being unsubmissive and says her last line which is, Buy them yourself (p.72). This shows how she reverted back to almost her past self of not being controlled and sold. I think one of the main things this play brings up is how women sell themselves in marriage, and when Eliza says that she wont buy Higgins things it shows how she won’t sell herself and she can’t be shaped by the society around her.

Pygmalion Personal Response_Zack

In an everchanging society of humans, stage-plays and the such, as an artform, have attempted to makes viewers question about the way how our society is ran through specific situations in the stories. For example, Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, has probed the question of what is fairness in an unfair society, through the story of Shylock. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, on the other hand, had asked readers about the division in society. Some important themes are: Language as a barrier of classes and the vast difference between the society back then compares to nowadays.

Shaw’s play has shown us the ugly importance of language in his work, Pygmalion: that the extent to which how a person sounds and how smart they sounds dictate their social class, yet it does not equate to their level of intelligence. Take Higgins for example, he is a well-spoken expert of British accents, which had allowed him to be at a well spot in the hierarchy of British’s society. On the other hand, Eliza, a more rash sounding flower girl, was thought by Higgins, to be stupid, immature because of her accent that is hard to hear. However, Eliza is not even a bit silly, but very aware of her own self-worth, as she has clearly said that she is a good person with the right morals when being ridiculed by Higgins for consulting with him about her lessons with him. Such evidences has shown how one’s own knowledge and awareness need not to be shown through how they speak, but rather in what they actually understand.

On the same matter of language, it is very noticeable how the society back then differs from the one such as today: it was a sadder one (but not exactly a dystopia, per se) in terms of economy. This is prevalent in the tea-talk that Mrs.Higgins had with the Eynsfords: that despite having a good amount of money, they are not the upper-class folks. While it is sad, it is the reality in which they had to live in.

All in all, Pygmalion was an excellent play that tackles a lot about the division in of society and how the environment corresponds with it.

Pygmalion Personal Response

After watching the movie and reading the book Pygmalion I was quite surprised. I had actually watched a newer rendition of the movie three years ago but at the time I didn’t know it was Pygmalion. Previously, I had heard of the tale of Pygmalion, but the movie and book do not feel like the same thing. I understand, from a metaphorical perspective, how Higgins shaped Eliza and turned her into a “lady”, similar to how Pygmalion shaped Galatea. However, I find that there aren’t many other similarities. Overall, I can see how they are both Pygmalion but I don’t think there is a strong enough connection to call them the same thing.

A question that was raised for me when reading and watching was did men share similar moralities and ideas to Higgins? We do not have too many different male opinions in Pygmalion because there aren’t many significant characters in total. One example of a man having somewhat similar ideas was Colonel Pickering, he was intrigued by the idea of the bet and was fully supporting of it. However, he did not share the same morals as Higgins, we can see this when he would openly oppose Higgins insults to Eliza and made sure she was treated right. This is just one example of another man but I was wondering if other men were like this. It also made me think if the way people treated each other depended on their own class, and the class of others.

Something I liked and disliked at the same time was the dialogue between Higgins and Eliza. I didn’t like the constant the verbal abuse from Higgins to Eliza, but I also didn’t like some of Eliza’s noises and annoying proclamations. The part of it that I liked was the development of it. As Eliza became more and more educated she was able to hold her own in their conversations and a was able to withstand some of Higgins verbal jousts. I thought this was very clever, especially as a way to show Eliza’s progression to becoming a “Lady”.

Overall, I enjoyed this book/movie, it was entertaining and delivered a message about outer appearance vs inner personality similar to A Doll’s House. I make this comparison because at the time if you were born into a certain social class that would be your class and no matter what happened you would be seen as that class. However, Eliza’s transformation shows us that it is what’s on the inside that counts. Despite the fact that I don’t think it should be called Pygmalion I would recommend someone watch this, and read if they want but I think in this rare case the movie is better.


I enjoyed the play Pygmalion by George Shaw, but it was somewhat slow paced. The characters were well written and had distinct personalities which made it interesting for me to read. The questions that were brought to the surface for me when reading the play, is it right for Eliza to leave Mr. Higgins without such a notice after what he did for her, and secondly, does Mr. Higgins overstep his boundaries when she leaves him.

Eliza was in the right to leave as she was paying him as a tutor (through Mr. Pickering), and because Higgins did not own her in any way, it should not be his problem that she left. It does get more complicated when you think about things politely. It was rude for Eliza to leave Higgins without a notice or a “thank you” for how he helped her, because she was the one who came to him and asked him for language lessons. Higgins accepted this and also housed Eliza and fed her for the length of her lessons. No, I do not believe that it was right for Eliza to leave Higgins without saying goodbye or “thank you,” even if she was fuming.

Higgins oversteps his control over Eliza when he sends the police after her to retrieve  Eliza when she leaves. Eliza was only studying under Higgins, which means Higgins has no right to do something as dramatic as sending the police after Eliza. Unlike in the original written by Ovid, which Pygmalion is based off. The reason for Higgins freaking out, was because he believes that he does have ownership of Liza, because he made her into what she is. “She doesn’t belong to him. I paid him five pounds for her.” (v.7) This is Mr. Higgins speaking when he is talking to Mr. Doolittle. He says that Liza belongs to him because of the five pounds Henry gave Doolittle. The reality of this is that Eliza does not belong to Mr. Higgins, and Mr. Doolittle was only trying to make money off rich people like Higgins.


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Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is one of my more favourite pieces of literature that we have read so far. It was written in the early twentieth century and can be much more easily comprehended than the ancient Greek plays like Odysseus or Antigone. I am more used to the grammar and words used. Watching the play also helped with this as I could see the visual of what the author might be trying to portray.

At the beginning of the play, George Bernard Shaw did a great job of characterizing Eliza as an annoying egocentric flower girl. When reading the first scene, whenever I read Eliza’s line I could almost hear an annoying squeaky voice in my head. She is always creating a big fuss and always wanting the centre of attention. This is especially prevalent in beginning of act 1 when she is freaking out because she is told that a man is taking notes on how she is talking and acting. “I ain’t done nothin wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I’ve a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb… I’m a respectable girl…” She kept on whining and screaming and I just wanted her to stop. Watching the play was even worse for this. The voice of the actress and how she was depicting Eliza is exactly how I imagined it to be. She was extremely annoying and always seemed to have to get a word in. Mr. Higgins seems to agree with me on this as he constantly wants her to stop talking and calls her funny names like “a squashed cabbage leaf”. On page 32 Mr. Higgins is fed up with her and says something quite rude but I thought that it was humorous at the same time. “Oh shut up, shut up. Do I look like a policeman?” (p. 5), “A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere – no right to live… and don’t sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon.” This second quotation shows how Mr. Higgins is not the gentleman that he seems to think that he is. He is a rude person. When watching this part of the play I was fed up with how annoying Eliza was acting and I was happy when Mr. Higgins said that line.

This play is based off the Greek myth where Pygmalion creates Galatea, his ideal woman. This is similar to what Mr. Higgins did to Eliza Doolittle. He wanted to turn this flower girl who was not even classified as a “lady” because of her accent and how she acted, into a lady. Throughout the play he changed her whole personality into what he thought was the perfect lady. He ignores that Eliza is a person and is is prioritizing his own ego being one of the best linguists in the United Kingdom. This reminded me of the last book we read A Doll’s House where Torvald was also prioritizing his ego. Both pieces of literature show the stereotype about male egoism.

In conclusion Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is one of my more favourite pieces of literature because it conveys a strong message while still being entertaining to watch and read.


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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?