Women In The Play Pygmalion

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People are always in the pursuit of erasing their flaws and becoming what society would say is "perfect." In the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw the main character Eliza Doolittle was not content with her life and her lamentable speech and manners. In order to become what she considered "perfect" Eliza relied on Higgins to change her into a proper and sophisticated woman. Higgins pounded lessons of proper speech and how to conduct one 's self with eloquence into Eliza 's head minute after minute and day after day. Although Eliza was being transformed externally, as she continued to grow from her lessons, she also began to transform internally and realize that she deserved respect, whether she was a kerbstone flower girl or a duchess.…show more content…
The play is set in the early twentieth century in London. This time in period was referred to as the Victorian era. During this era women had not gained the basic rights and privileges given to man. Women were looked at as housewives, their main role being to act properly, marry, and tend to the house and bear children. Although Higgins felt he knew what was best for Liza and how she should behave and act, he treated her as if she was inferior to him. Liza, now wiser and more confident in herself, began to feel as if she was being treated unjust and showed she was not to back down and she was to stand up for herself. This is best depicted through the body language and actions reflected in the narration and stage directions. Directions such as [Defiantly non-Resistant], [Snapping her fingers], [Disdainfully], [Composedly], and [Determinedly] (PDF Act IV Page 39 and Act V Page 49) allow one to imagine and picture her being confident as she is conversing with Higgins and telling him that she does not need him she is independent and the woman she has always wanted to be. The descriptive elements used for stage direction and in the narration convey more emotion to what the character is saying because the reader can imagine what is taking…show more content…
HIGGINS. "What! That imposter! That humbug! That toadying ignoramus! Teach him my methods! My discoveries!"
LIZA. "... You can 't take away the knowledge you gave me. You said I had a finer ear than you. And I can be civil and kind to people, which is more than you can ... Oh, when I think of myself crawling under your feet and being trampled on and called names, when all the time I had only to lift up my finger to be as good as you, I could just kick myself."
(PDF Act V Page 55)
This part of the plot is the climax in Act V of Pygmalion and here it is exemplified that Liza has matured and realizes that she was being treated inhumanely. Her transformation from a girl with no manners and lack of speech skills to a woman with refined speech and eloquence brought Liza to realize that no matter her position socially she should be treated as an equal. It has been brought to light that she is not on the same level as Higgins because Higgins sees both the rich and poor versions of Liza as the lowest of the low, when in fact through her "new self" she is a symbol for power and respect, especially as a female in the Victorian
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