Eliza’s been brushed. Her hair has a mousy

Eliza’s role in “Pygmalion” is further of an amusing release to the audience. She is an unfortunate, deprived, uneducated young woman that has been on the streets and sells flowers for a living. She is maybe 18 to 20 years old unattractive female that wears a little sailor hat made of black straw that has dust and soot on it that has probably never been brushed. Her hair has a mousy color that needs to be washed. She wears a sloppy black coat that goes almost to her knees and is formed to her waist. She has a brown skirt with an uneven apron and boots that are worse than her entire outfit. She is unclean due to her lack of financial means; but compared to the ladies she is very dirty. Her features are no worse than theirs; but she needs to see a dentist (Shaw, 20). Eliza wants to be more independent and not depend on men in her life even from her father. Later she becomes a brilliant and elegant because of two gentlemen. Higgins and Pickering have a bet going and taking the experiment a little too far. By the end of the play Eliza is not a poor little flower girl that speaks with a thick accent. She has become more of a sophisticated young woman with correct grammar and moves with self-assurance. Because of the way she acted and looked earlier in the play, she was treated unfair by many people in the town. Eliza wants “to be a lady in a flower shop stead of selling at the corner of Tottenham Court Road. But they won’t take me unless I can talk more genteel. He said he could teach me. Well, here I am ready to pay him–not asking any favor–and he treats me as if I was dirt” (Shaw, 28). Mrs. Pearce seems to down talk Eliza and makes the remark, “How can you be such a foolish ignorant girl” (Shaw, 28). Higgins portrays Eliza as the key factor in his experiment but sometimes persecutes her. Pickering and Higgins are so caught up in the experiment they seem to forget she is a human being just like them. Higgins asks, “Pickering, shall we ask this baggage to sit down, or shall we throw her out of the window” (Shaw,27) Higgins and Pickering discussed Eliza as if she was some type of animal or pet that was trained to performed. Eliza states “I sold flowers. I didn’t sell myself. Now you’ve made a lady of me I’m not fit to sell anything else. I wish you’d left me where you found me” (Shaw, 4.63-66).


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