From Dirt To Duchess Essay, Research Paper
How could a lowly flower girl make such a drastic change into a refined lady? She could not have possibly pulled it off herself; she would need help. Thus is the case in the play Pygmalion, by G.B. Shaw. The poor flower girl, Eliza, is turned into a “duchess,” so to speak, by the other characters in the play. The characters responsible for the change in Eliza throughout the play were Henry Higgins, Mrs. Pierce, and Colonel Pickering, all of which had strong influences on her either mentally or physically.
The obvious character who influenced transformations in Eliza would be Henry Higgins. He is the one who instituted the bet in which he boasted that he could turn her into a lady. He helped the transformation of Eliza into a lady by pushing her to the brink of exhaustion during her studies of the English Language. This made her stronger physically, but made her resent him. Also, his teachings helped shape her into that of a duchess.
Another person responsible for the changes in Eliza was Mrs. Pierce. Her involvement was more with Eliza?s appearance, rather than her personality. It was Mrs. Pierce who bathed Eliza that first day and it was Mrs. Pierce who kept her appearance refined. She picked out the clothes and made sure she ate correctly. In some ways, Mrs. Pierce was like a mother taking care of a baby; Eliza was the baby because she is just learning how to be a lady.
The final and most important character responsible for transformations in Eliza was none other than Colonel Pickering. He was responsible for buying all the beautiful clothes that Eliza wore. Not only did he make her look good, but he made her feel good about herself. He did this by always treating her like she was special, by always treating her like a lady. He always treated her with the respect she deserved. He built up her self-esteem , which pushed her over the hump and made her feel like a lady.
All these characters, Higgins, Mrs. Pierce, and Pickering helped transform Eliza into the lady she had the potential to be. They didn?t create something out of nothing; instead they unlocked the true nature of Eliza through different methods. Whether it be harsh teaching, good hygiene, or sheer kindness, all three did their part to transform Eliza into a lady.