Pygmalion – Analysis Assignment A – Analysis of Character Traits of Professor Higgins Introduction In the play Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw has created memorable characters. What makes these characters memorable is their distinct personality traits that make them stand apart…
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We are going to analyse the following traits of Professor Higgins: 1. Thinking – He is absent-minded 2. Speaking – He is harsh and bullies people around him 3. Actions – He is shy and aloof Let us look at these in detail. 1. Thinking – He is absent minded Although Higgins likes orderly things around him, he is extremely absent-minded, probably because he expects others to remember his daily necessity things and supply them to him whenever he needs them. He appreciates cleanliness and even instructs Mrs Pearce that she should give Eliza a good bath, burn her dirty clothes, and wrap her in a brown paper till her new clothes arrive. Mrs Pearce chides him for using foul language and even forbids him to use the same in front of Eliza. He swears and says that he doesn’t use foul language at all. He doesn’t even realise that he is making a mistake because of his absence of mind. He is equally absent-minded in regard to people around him. He refuses to acknowledge Eliza’s efforts in making successful his experiment and training and talks about her as if she is not around. He has a row with her and then comes back for his slippers. This infuriates Eliza immensely, and she hurls the slippers at him. This scene perfectly depicts that absence of mind is a prominent trait in Professor Higgins. 2. ...
Eliza continues to take his brunt, because she sees that she is going to get better in life after the ‘experiment’ is over. Higgins is also terribly headstrong and likes to get things done his way. He is harsh if he is not heeded, bullies people around, and becomes extremely stormy and rough if someone argues with him. He refuses to see and accept other person’s viewpoint. The only reason the audience puts up with his behaviour is because he is clean at heart and doesn’t have malicious intentions. 3. Actions – He is shy and aloof The fact that Higgins is in fact shy and aloof is a sheer contradiction to his bullying and stormy appearance. His aloofness primarily stems from his superiority complex. This trait of being shy and aloof intrigues a reader the most. He is quiet in the company of Hills or in social gatherings, because he genuinely doesn’t know what to say. He has a loud audacious language and tone, but that acts like a facade for him. Pickering asks him about his intentions towards Eliza. Higgins admits that he has clean intentions in regard to Eliza because women are like blocks of wood for him and he sincerely believes that they can be made the way one wants to. The other side of the statement is he intends to stay away because he is shy. He is not able to place Mrs Hill and her daughter because he only remembers their phonetics. He has a single minded devotion to his studies and he only thinks of people as objects of study and not human beings. His aloofness and shyness creates a smokescreen for him in front of people. Conclusion Higgins comes across as character of contradictory traits for the reader. We have analysed three distinct traits of Professor Higgins. These traits
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(“Book Report on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw /Review”, n.d.)
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(Book Report on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw /Review)
“Book Report on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw /Review”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1444205-book-report-on-pygmalion-by-george-bernard-shaw.
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