• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

My fair lady - To what extent do the character, personality and views of Higgins dominates the play and its other characters?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent do the character, personality and views of Higgins dominates the play and its other characters? Like Higgins, Shaw always insisted on the last word, so he wrote a 21-page "sequel" to Pygmalion describing Eliza's marriage to Freddy and why she couldn't have married Henry Higgins. Of course the reason is obvious, a consummation would have been a disaster: Higgins is far too old, a confirmed bachelor and far too much of a dominating man. However, Higgins thinks that the fool Freddy isn't good enough for Eliza; Freddy is a nonentity singularity when you compare the overbearing verbal presence of Higgins. "Overbearing" in the sense that Higgins dominates the play and everyone in it, even though it is not really his story. And also overwhelming, as he uses language as a weapon with which to get his own way, to dominate, and even to batter anyone who disagrees or questions with him, for example he disarms and even entertains the crowd in Act one with his remarks on where the geographical homestead of the people are, even Eliza is bowled over by Higgins's imitation of her cry (Ah-ah-ah-aw-aw-aw-oo). ...read more.


In Eliza's case Higgins is dominating, not because he doesn't want to be close to Eliza, indeed in the end he admits that he is fond of Eliza, but he is in loco parentis as a teacher, has a paternal right (for 5 pounds) to "improve her mind" with "a lick of strap", and as he freely admits himself he would be as harsh as 3 fathers in Act 1, when Eliza complained of his dominance. In the last act he casually offers to adopt her, as his daughter so therefore for all the reasons above this proves that his intentions lies in him wanting to be a strict "father" figure in replacement to Alfred's own lack of parental obligation, and so his need for dominance and trying not to make Eliza conceited, instead of being accused deliberately hurting her sensitivity. Higgins is a brilliant phonetician and linguist; Eliza passing the bet in the Embassy Ball proves that Higgins has not only traversed the "phonetic stream," transforming one polar opposite dialect into another but liking his job at the same time, he admits that he is fortunate in making a living from his hobby and as he says himself when Eliza asked him why he did the experiment, Higgins answers "Why, because it was my job". ...read more.


Higgins says that, "My idea of a lovable woman is somebody as like you as possible. I shall never get into the way of seriously liking young women: some habits lie too deep to be changed." The irony is that even though he has no doubt that he can transform Eliza, he takes it as a given that there are natural traits in himself that cannot be changed. He views the changes to himself in regard to speech or phonetics change, in an single minded and almost chauvinistic viewpoint regarding them to be the overriding importance. However I believe the true dominance of Higgins is the fact that Eliza has changed both in character and personality, when Eliza threatens to become the Frankenstein monster and usurp his dominance by teaching phonetics, he threatens to wring her neck, although moments later he has reinterpreted the rebellion as a triumph of his creative power, "By George...I said I'd make a woman out of you and I have." So the play is dominated by Higgins, especially with Higgins having the last line, "Pickering! Nonsense: she's going to marry Freddy. Ha ha! Freddy Freddy!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!" PHILIP XIU 11SK 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Examine the personality of Eliza Doolittle and show how she changes during the course ...

    Later on, when she has been washed and cleaned up, her father can no, longer recognize her: "Beg pardon, Miss" Eliza, shocked yelps back, "Garn! Don't you know your own daughter?" This is one of Eliza's main changes throughout the play.

  2. Comparison of representations of femininity in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and Wide Sargasso ...

    Why not? MRS PEARCE. Why not! but you dont know anything about her. What about her parents? She may be married. She also shows concern about what would happen to her after the experiment 'And what is to become of her when youve finished your teaching?

  1. How does Eliza change in the course of the play, and by what means?Is ...

    She doesn't have the knowledge or vocabulary to stand up to him and if anyone questions her virtue or mentions the police she makes dreadful noises such as 'ah-ah-ah-ow-oo-o' and starts crying. Eliza's idea of cleanliness is to wash her hands and face only on important occasions although she is probably as clean as she can be considering her circumstances.

  2. English Creative Writing

    It made me calm. It made me feel happy. It was an aphrodisiac.... "WOW. You're an angel" I said as my eyes were watching the angel in amazement. "Shut up you fool. Let's get him to the room" said the devil.

  1. Analysis on the character of Margot Frank

    After Anne turns her mother away, Margot defends Anne when Mrs Frank confronts her. Margot displays great sympathy for both sides, both Anne's and her mother's. She comforts her Mother by saying "It's a phase - you heard father - most girls go through it- they turn to their fathers

  2. Portrayal of Wessex far from the madding crowd

    Nature also plays an important role in their everyday working cycle when harvesting, sheep shearing or collecting honey from the beehives. Everything in the countryside ultimately is somehow connected to nature as the workers rely on the fauna and flora to provide them with wool, honey and crops.

  1. Great Expectations - Character Introduction

    Because of the setting we find put that Pips family has died and this seems cruel as he is only young yet suffered so much. Descriptions of the setting like "A long black horizontal line," and "A distant savage lair," make the setting seem dire and uncomfortable.

  2. Analyse George Bernard Shaws presentation of transformation and how he explores this in Pygmalion

    George Bernard Shaw shows that change is irreversible and that there is no going back after someone has undergone a change. The real problem that lay though the play was what was to become of Eliza after the bet had passed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work