In the play Pygmalion by George Shaw, Eliza experiences a type of transformation. Before Eliza first encountered Mr. Higgins, she was a dirty, improper, poor young girl. During her time with both Mr. Higgins and Colonel Pickering, Eliza did change. Her change seems so go in somewhat of a cycle, however. For the fist few weeks of her stay she questioned everything that Higgins asked her to do. She simply was unable to see how they would help her. Later, Eliza begins to understand that even though Higgins’ ways are so harsh, he is doing his best to teach her and he deserves some cooperation. After the ambassador’s ball, we see more of the old Eliza because her task is finished. She starts to worry again, and since she has grown attached to Higgins and Pickering, she is so upset that they still see her as something of little value. Eliza’s upper-class speech and manners can be observed, but her inner confidence is what changes the most.
In the beginning of Higgins’s study, Eliza feels that she has to impress Higgins by making sure he knows that she arrived in a taxi. Eliza does not understand Higgins’ personality at first and feels like he is being specifically mean to her. During her lessons, Eliza is worked so hard she begins to regret allowing herself to put up with Higgins as a teacher. Her hatred towards the man disappears a little bit when she realizes that she can only accomplish her dream of working as a lady in a flower shop if he is shapes her into a lady. She tried to hide the anger built up because of Higgins and think of him as more of a friend.
She does not realized at first that Higgins takes pride in his work and not his student. She soon realized that Higgins’ investment in her was merely a tool used to enhance Higgins reputation in society. Higgins showed no appreciation towards Eliza as he repeatedly boasted about his success, and he not once acknowledged her. Higgins was able to transform Eliza into a lady, but what he did not realized was that he had slowly been making Eliza a stronger person. During the process, his constant beating on Eliza made her realize that she did not deserve his disrespect. She begins to stand up for herself and believe in her worth. This is illustrated in Eliza’s throwing the slippers at Higgins. Eliza finally stands up to Higgins and does it in a bold way.
Higgins was able to change Eliza. Originally she was an innocent girl trying to stay alive. Higgins through the introduction to a proper life-style had altered Eliza’s way of thinking. It was good for Eliza to become stronger as she did. At the end of the play, she becomes overpowering to Higgins, her beauty becomes irresistible as Higgins realizes that she is leaving. It took the threat of Eliza leaving for him to see his true feelings towards her. Eliza’s strength is shown the most when she is finally able to leave Higgins. She shows that she is able to take care of herself and does not need Higgins’ superficial changes to survive.
Courtney from Study Moose
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