Pygmalion

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade January 2002

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Pygmalion #9 Eliza and Professor Higgins meet in an awkward situation. Professor Higgins is studying people's language and he noticed that Eliza speaks quite unique. Eliza is a poor girl who is selling flowers wearing poor clothes. Higgins also meets Colonel (Col.) Pickering in the beginning. They both have great amount of money and they give very little to the flower girl Eliza when she asked for it. Eliza isn't stupid, but just in proverty. She over heard the time Higgins and Col. Pickering would meet and decided to go to Higgins house the next day. Her life changes as she accepts to be part of the bet made by Higgins and Col. Pickering.

Eliza is poor, not clean, and practically alone in the world. Any person in her situation would be delighted to accept this offer of teaching her how to speak properly, give her new clothes and a place to stay.

Eliza's goal is to learn to speak better so she will be able to work in a flower shop. She has such a different character during the beginning compared to how she will be after the bet. She is not stubborn, but responsible and grown up. She wants to be pay for the lessons she is getting but Higgins doesn't allow that. It seems that she doesn't completely realize how this deal will affect her beside the fact that her language will get better.

Higgins seems to be blind to other people's feelings. From the beginning he treats Eliza as an instrument. He as this bet all planned out. He will teach Eliza and pass her off as a duchess. After this whole bet is over he will simply find Eliza a job and everything will be ok. Higgins has a language problem himself. He talks about Eliza badly from the start and uses bad words to describe her. He doesn't do this intentionally to put her down, but it's just his natural way of treating people lower then him. Col. Pickering treats Eliza like a lady from the start. Now that there is a bet involved and some excitement Pickering has no problem with spending money on Eliza. Unlike before Eliza was asking for money and he didn't put much into her basket. Higgins is not a ladies man and that it is revealed on how he treats Eliza.

The lessons began and Eliza is doing wonderful. Higgins is happy and so is Col. Pickering. Eliza must have been feeling proud of herself to be learning to speak properly so well and fast. The first months are a charm. I'm sure Higgins is feeling higher of himself that she is learning so well. Col. Pickering is proud of Eliza and it seems that he doesn't remember that the bet was still on. Eliza had her first real bath and new clothes in the Higgins household. Her appearance is looking much better. Her own father could not recognize her when he first saw her after the changes. Higgins introduces Eliza to his mother in such an exciting manner. Higgins is somewhat self-fish in the fact that he didn't even bother to ask his mother first. Mrs. Higgins had guest coming over the same day and it turns out the guest met Eliza before also. Before introducing Eliza to his mother his feelings are shown on how he feels about women. Higgins mentions, "Oh, I can't be bothered with young women. My idea of a lovable woman is somebody as like you as possible. I shall never get into the way of seriously liking young women: some habits lie too deep to be changed. Besides, they're all idiots"�(68). We can somewhat tell that Higgins doesn't hate women, but is just annoyed that he hasn't found the perfect lady. The daughter, mother, and Freddy met Eliza when she was selling flowers. None of them cannot recognize the flower girl. Eliza must feel completely different from when she was selling flowers.

Eliza and the crew are on they're to a ball where the true test is to happen. At the ball everyone noticed Eliza's beauty and princess like conduct. Somebody even thought she was from Hungary and spoke French also. Higgins won the bet and Pickering was amazed at how well Eliza done. Eliza didn't feel too comfortable at the ball because so many people were judging her. I think in her heart she knew that this was what they had been working towards and this was going to be the final test. She was nervous for that reason but maybe also for the fact that after the test over what was she to do. After the ball Higgins keeps blurting out how this test is over and how boring it was. Pickering and Higgins just keep talking about themselves and how it's over and just ignoring Eliza. While this is going on in Higgins house Eliza goes crazy. She understands truly that these men just trained her and now that's it's over don't care about her and are throwing her to the side. She is upset and attacks Higgins for his meanness.

During this whole training Eliza experienced many new things and rich things. She also grew attached to Higgins in the fact that she saw him everyday and helped him with errands and remainders. It was awful for her to hear him talk about this whole thing in a bad way. She was hurt and knew that if he felt this way what was she to do with her life after this. She has no money and Pickering brought all of these clothes for her. It was all overwhelming and she just bursted in front of Higgins. Higgins is highly surprised at her outburst and rage against him. In his mind he felt that he gave Eliza a much better life and a place to stay. He doesn't notice the feelings of her and is just noticing the outside of what has been going on with her. Throughout they're time together he still talked to her bad but treated her ok. The only thing on his mind during this whole training was changing her dialect and of course winning the bet. He was blind to the feelings of her and didn't consider exactly what would happen with her now that everything was over. The distress was a big build up over the months. Now she was a different person and couldn't go back to being the same flower girl. It was sad for her to realize that this life was over and now what was she to do. Her personality changed and she was no longer independent. This all hit her with high impact when she overheard Higgins and Pickering talk of it all as a bore and were happy it was over. Her self-esteem and self-confidence must have hit rock bottom at that point. Higgins being having a character of judging people just had no compassion for her outrage. Instead, he puts her down even more and calls her bad names as usual.