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Pygmalion and Henry Higgins

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 767 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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The notetaker, primarily known as Henry Higgins, has a tendency to come off as being a jerk and really self centered. Since his profession is phonetics and speech, Higgins tends to have this mentality of him being better than everyone else and people who aren’t like him, aren’t worth his time. This causes Higgins to judge everyone he sees. The main person he focuses on is the flower girl, and is also known as Eliza Doolittle. Eliza was first seen on the side of the street selling herself, she wasn’t the best dressed and she also didn’t talk like a lady, so Higgins being the jerk that he is known for starts off degrading her as a person and treats her like she isn’t valuable or worth of anyone’s time. The only reason why nobody has left him or has turned against him is, because in his heart he is good and a harmless man, but he biggest fault is being a bully.

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Relationships can capture such a great friendship between two people that could go on for years, but Higgins had the mindset that only focusing on himself was the most valuable thing in the world. In the beginning of Act 1, Higgins and Eliza’s relationship started to form. Although he had a slight tendency to come off as rude to her in the most negative ways, Higgins knew that his relationship with the flower girl would have to grow, because of the bet he made with Colonel Pickering that he could turn her into a lady before the garden party. Even though during the time Higgins was helping her, he would still treat the flower girl like she was worthless of everyone’s time. In Act IV, Higgins comes off as somewhat pleasant to the flower girl, making it seem as if his relationship changed throughout the play. As we get to the end of the play, Higgins has completely changed his mind about Eliza, he now realizes that, because of her, HIggins now looks at the world differently. “Five minutes ago you were like a milestone around my neck. Now you’re a tower of strength: a consort battleship.” Higgins now believes that he is very proud of her, and he accepts the way she is. His relationship with Eliza did start off as unpleasant, and now that Higgins realizes that he does now respect Eliza, he wouldn’t mind keeping her in his life as a long life friend. Relationships can be a beautiful thing between two people, but it all depends on how you view the world and how you value people.

Some of our values and beliefs have a way of catching up to us in the end, they can often make us better as a person or make us turn into an unpleasant person for everyone to see. The way we value people, and what we believe as a person determines our actions towards certain individuals and situations that we get ourself in. Higgins, the notetaker, is influenced by his social class, and his beliefs as a person. The way Higgins was grown accustomed to acting the way he did, because of being raised in that type of environment, caused him to act a certain way towards people who are beneath him and superior to him. Although Higgins was somewhat of a bully, he still had a very good heart on his hands. As the play, Pygmalion, came to an end, Higgins learns that people are more than a social class, and also a social class does not determine your intelligence or the kind of person you turn out to be.

Higgins believed that if you weren’t from the right social class, and you came of as unworthy, he wouldn’t even give you the time of day, because he felt as if you didn’t deserve it. In Act II, Higgins repeated, “Shall we ask his baggage to sit down, or shall we throw her out the window?” Higgins was not impressed with her or the way she dressed, he orders her away, because he had enough her “Lisson Grove lingo”. As time went on, and Higgins finally opened up his mind a little bit more, in Act V, he told Eliza “I said i’d make a woman of you;and I have, I like you like this.” His beliefs changed towards the end, and realized that not everything is about which social class you’re from, it all depends on how good of a person you are.

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In conclusion to the play Pygmalion, the way Higgins perceives his roles, helped him grow as a person. He now has an open mindset to many different social classes, and how he looks at the world. He now has learned that not only does your social class not define you as a person, but he has also learned to actually get to know someone before he goes out and judges them.


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