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

What do Eliza and Higgins learn from each other? How does this “education” change them as people?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"You can't take away the knowledge you gave me... That's done you Enry Iggins, it az." What do Eliza and Higgins learn from each other? How does this "education" change them as people? "Pygmalion" explores Bernard Shaw's idea that people should not be limited by the social class into which they were born; that they should have a chance to improve themselves by gaining an education. This is called the "nature versus nurture" debate, which marked a major change in Victorian England. Should we remain in the position we were born into (nature), as was the basic Victorian belief, or can we change our status; establish equality between people regardless of age, gender and race (nurture)? Education is the foundation of these aims and is presented in the play as a way of self-improvement through teaching and training, whether it is academically or socially based. The characters around Eliza treat her with contempt. When Eliza convinces Mrs Eynsford Hill to buy flowers from her, her daughter, Clara says to her mother "Make her give you the change. These things are only a penny a bunch...Sixpence thrown away! ...read more.

Middle

This is partly because of his talent at placing accents, and also due to the respect she has for his standing in society. The difference in their reactions reflects Higgins and Eliza's characters. We can see that as Eliza's social skills are more acceptable, (even though her academic and social standing is below Higgins) she draws a more favourable conclusion. It shows that she has a better social awareness than Higgins, so she is able to educate him, which again, encourages equality. The first learning point for Eliza occurred at Higgins's house, where she learned elements of social ritual. Firstly, Mrs. Pearce shows her the bathroom, where Eliza has to get accustomed to the differences in standards of hygiene of the higher classes. She is not used to having a bath. "You expect me to wet myself all over?" she exclaims, when Mrs. Pearce shows her the bathroom. "It's not natural: it would kill me. I've never had a bath in my life" This demonstrates how dirty she is, and how unaccustomed Eliza is with soap and water; hygiene is a major aspect that Eliza learns while staying at Higgins's house. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a radical change from the beginning of the play, when he was constantly insulting her. He even admits that he has "learnt something from (her) idiotic notions: I confess that humbly and gratefully", showing that he has become more open minded to other people's ideas. The characters have changed on the outside and from within. It is only by having a greater awareness of the world that Eliza could say "...When a child is brought to a foreign country, it picks up the language...and forgets its own. Well, I am a child in your country. I have forgotten my own language and can speak nothing but yours." This shows her knowledge of culture and behaviour, as well as using appropriate language and a total change on her part, which she benefits from. She has undergone a dramatic self-improvement. Higgins has not changed so radically, but has learned "the great secret. (It) is not having bad manners or good manners or having any other particular kind of manners, but having the same kind of manner for all human souls." He has finally learned to treat Eliza as an equal, which is a valuable lesson learnt from her. Both Higgins and Eliza have been nurtured, to become better people, by having a greater academic and social understanding. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 Sociology 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 Sociology essays

  1. In what ways does Eliza Doolittle change in Pygmalion?

    For example, when Eliza offers Prof. Higgins a shilling for her lessons, he comments to Colonel Pickering that a shilling in relation to Eliza's earnings is about the equivalent of about sixty pounds from a millionaire, which Eliza misunderstands and fearfully thinks is the sum of money she must pay.

  2. Historical Interpretation of Economic-Social Change

    The role of working class women changed during the industrial age from working in the home in the cottage industry, to being expected to go out to work to support the family in the new factories and mines. The changing role of women was in part was fuelled by the

  1. Compare and Contrast 'Overcoat' By Ghulam Abbas and 'The Blue Donkey' By Suniti Namjoshi ...

    The donkey confused then said: 'I am a perfectly good donkey' The donkey didn't mind being blue and eating pink carrots although this troubled the red bridge society as the carrots clashed horribly with the bright red bridge and they spitefully told the blue donkey that they didn't want a bright blue donkey living near the red bridge.

  2. The cannabis debate

    legalised as it has less harmful side effects than that of tobacco and alcohol and it has beneficial medical effects.

  1. G.B Shaw believed that people should not be limited by their birth, environment or ...

    Again in act 5, we see how certain status's & class systems affect people's lives when Mr Doolittle comes into unwanted wealth: 'im expected to provide for everyone now' & sees the change in status as a bad thing. When Eliza learns of his father marrying her stepmother, she is

  2. Social Science/Sociology and it's academic nature.

    Members of society usually take their culture for granted as it has become so ingrained into them that they are often unaware of it. Culture defines accepted ways of behaving for members of a particular society; this can lead to considerable misunderstanding between members of different societies.

  1. Mateship has long been a major aspect of the national image as projected by ...

    Such emphasis led to further masculinization of Australian society. The stereotype of men being tough, strong and masculine was therefore strengthened. Most importantly, the fight for collective good and the view that every man is equal even transcended the competition between individuals on the goldfields and sometimes the divisions of classes and nations.

  2. Women as property in regards to rape.

    Clearly women were threatened by their social order to restrain from prosecuting rape crimes merely because it would disrupt her family life. In some instances when women did not report the crime themselves the indictment would be brought through the king's name or the father's voice.

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