Brit Soc & Lit 2: Blog Post 1 (Pygmalion)

Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw (1913)

Blog posts and presentations due: Wednesday, September 27

Group 2: Who “wins” at the end of the play– Higgins or Eliza? Has Higgins succeeded, and has Eliza really changed?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. What is Higgins’s relationship to his mother? Does it affect the play’s story?
  2. Do you think that Higgins and Eliza should have married? Why or why not?
  3. Who deserves the most credit for Eliza’s change into a lady– Higgins, or Eliza herself?
  4. Do you side with Higgins or Eliza at the end? Is Eliza ungrateful, or is she right to feel used by the men as a sort of guinea pig?
  5. Is Higgins a good man, or a snob, or just a bit out of touch?
  6. Shaw strongly did not want the play to have a happy ending where Higgins and Eliza get married. Why might he have done this?
  7. Why is Eliza’s father in the play? What does he represent?
  8. Is class something people are born or raised with, or is Higgins correct that it’s just an act?
  9. Why is the play called Pygmalion when the ‘sculptor’ does not fall in love with the statue?

5 thoughts on “Brit Soc & Lit 2: Blog Post 1 (Pygmalion)

  1. Minji Kim

    5. Is Higgins a good man, or a snob, or just a bit out of touch?
    Other than to defy his personality as good or bad, I felt like Higgins is an unloved pity child. As we don’t say ‘what a devil child’ to children, I couldn’t judge his personality as good or bad. He speaks duchess words but the inside of the words I couldn’t find manner. The reason I think of him as immature kid is because he doesn’t seem to have a normal family life. His father hasn’t been mentioned and his mother doesn’t seem to have affection toward her son. As Higgins mentioned at the play, he says ‘Pickering treats everybody like lady but I treat everybody like a flower girl’. This indicates how he is unskilled at treating others because only thing he got taught by his family is how to talk but not how to deal with people. But even so, I could feel his love toward Liza when he saw madness toward Liza saying running away or getting hurt when Liza says ‘I’m only an experimental tool to you’. I strongly believe his cold attitude was not his sincere mind. He just doesn’t know how to express his real feeling, like Liza once didn’t know how to talk politely. At the end, Liza eventually chose Freddy and his mother got disappointed to his son. So I feel Higgins is a poor child who lost everything.

    Reply
  2. Ki JI Yeon

    2.Do you think that Higgins and Eliza should have married? Why or why not?
    I think they should have married. I have 2 reasons for that. Firstly, the title of this play is ‘pygmalion’ which is came from Greek mythology. According to Greek mythology, main chacracter ‘Pygmalion’ made a sculpture and he fell in love with the sculpture he made. Like this story, this book should have had happy ending because he used the name of Pygmalion as a title and it was motive for his book.
    I think he may wanted to have a plot twist for the readers.
    Secondly, I think there’s possibility to fall in love each other(Higgins and Eliza) in aspect of the enviroment because she changed from a girl selling flowers to a lady and they spent 6 months together in one place. I am sorry to hear that she left Higgins who taught English to her and went to another person for her love.

    Reply
  3. JiYeon Kim

    (I have the error of my name, so I upload my writing again)

    2.Do you think that Higgins and Eliza should have married? Why or why not?
    I think they should have married. I have 2 reasons for that. Firstly, the title of this play is ‘pygmalion’ which is came from Greek mythology. According to Greek mythology, main chacracter ‘Pygmalion’ made a sculpture and he fell in love with the sculpture he made. Like this story, this book should have had happy ending because he used the name of Pygmalion as a title and it was motive for his book.
    I think he may wanted to have a plot twist for the readers.
    Secondly, I think there’s possibility to fall in love each other(Higgins and Eliza) in aspect of the enviroment because she changed from a girl selling flowers to a lady and they spent 6 months together in one place. I am sorry to hear that she left Higgins who taught English to her and went to another person for her love.

    Reply
  4. Cho yujin

    #2.
    I do not agree that thay should have married. If they got married, the ‘Pygmalion’ could not be appreciated as great play until now. Everyone wants happy ending and expects to close the book with the pleasant state. But why always does the literature work should be ended in happy closing? By let them not fall in love, Shaw opened many ways that let readers to think what will happen next. Also, following the context, even if Eliza is capable of behaving like noble girl Higgins does not treat her preciously. Higgins is honest man that showing his thinking and emotion just throughly. In this point,there is no doubt that Higgins has affection to Eliza or possibiltiy fall in love with her.

    Reply
  5. Sujung Ki

    I think Shaw wanted to criticize the way men in 1930s treated women by making the same title with the Greek mythology. In Greek mythology “Pygmalion”, the sculptor fell in love with the sculpture he made. And the sculpture is what he thinks the most perfect ideal type of woman. I think that’s why he wishes the sculpture to be her woman. In this play, Higgins makes Eliza what he thinks the most elegant and well educated woman. However, unlike myth, Eliza did not do what Higgins wanted her to do and she asserted that she is a human being too, like a man in 1930s. By showing the play’s contrasting ending with the mythology, Shaw might want to show that woman is not an object that man controls, but a person who has her own personality.
    A few days ago, I read a quote saying that your words resemble you. I think this quote is the best sentence that can explain the main theme of this play. At the beginning of the play, we can see that Eliza has some degree of her own personality through the scene that Eliza continues to insist that she is a good girl. But that’s it. At the end of the play, Eliza asserts that she has a right to choose her life and make a decision herself. And we can notice that her thought or attitude towards life and herself has changed, too. I think what made her change is the way she speaks. Shaw might want to let readers or audience know that words are very important.

    Reply

Leave a Reply