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Shaw sets up a strange, almost Freudian symmetry between Higgins and his mother on the one hand and Eliza and her father on the other. Higgins gives one of his reasons for never marrying as his too great respect for his mother. Her love of beauty, art, and philosophy has led her son to value Milton's poetry and his own universal alphabet more highly than he could a relationship with a woman. From Eliza's perspective, Higgins seems too much like her father in that neither of them really need her. Eliza genuinely cares about Higgins and is stung by the idea that he needs her no more than he needs his slippers. This represents the same sort of nonchalance with which Doolittle sells his only daughter in Act II for a five-pound note. Paternal relations and romantic relations, should be stronger than this. But Higgins's respect for his mother seems to interfere with his own life.