Pygmalion

George Bernard Shaw’s Emphasis on Change in Pygmalion College

George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion in hopes that people would see what change can happen in an individual person. While reading this play it is easy to see it as being focused on Eliza Doolittle. However, it is important to understand and observe how Eliza also changes Henry Higgins in some way. In Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw clearly shows the different ways that Eliza changes but also subtly and possibly more importantly Shaw shows how the interpersonal relationship between Eliza and Henry Higgins also changes some aspects of Henry.

In the beginning of the play, Henry is an arrogant and rude, but an intellectual person who has a hard time socializing appropriately. Eliza has similarities such as her poor manners but also had differences to Henry because she is uneducated. Shaw is intentional about how he depicts these characters because he wants them to be different enough that Henry has someone to teach, yet similar enough that it causes them to have conflicts. There are many examples throughout the play of how Eliza changes starting with her phonetics which is of course Henrys area of expertise. However, it is ironic that even though he knows how to make Eliza behave properly, he himself does not know how to behave to...

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