Pygmalion Act 2 Summary and Analysis

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The scene shifts to Higgins' laboratory in his home in Wimpole Street. It is eleven o'clock the next morning, and Higgins has been giving Pickering some demonstrations of the types of equipment that he uses in recording sounds which can then be studied at leisure in a scientific manner. As Higgins finishes his demonstration, Pickering admits that he is impressed, but he hasn't been able to follow more than half of what Higgins has shown him. Mrs. Pearce, the housekeeper, enters to announce that there is a strange girl, "quite a common girl," downstairs asking for the professor. Higgins is puzzled, but he thinks that this would be a good opportunity to record her in Pickering's presence, particularly since she is reported to have an unusual…show more content…
He questions if Higgins is "a man of good character where women are concerned?" Higgins admits that he has never known how to deal with women, because the moment you "let a woman into your life," she becomes "jealous, exacting, suspicious and a damned nuisance." Furthermore, he says, the moment he becomes friends with a woman, he becomes "selfish and tyrannical." Thus, he is "a confirmed old bachelor" and plans to remain one, and he assures Pickering that he will not take advantage of Eliza. Mrs. Pearce returns with Eliza's hat, which Eliza wants saved, and she asks Higgins to watch his behavior around the young girl; that is, he should try to cease swearing, use better table manners and try to act more like a gentleman. Mrs. Pearce then answers the doorbell and informs Higgins that a dustman, Alfred Doolittle, is outside and that he maintains that Higgins has his daughter inside. Pickering warns Higgins that this might be a trap, that Doolittle might be a scoundrel. Higgins is not perturbed and has the man sent for. Doolittle is an elderly but vigorous man with a remarkably expressive voice. To the contrary of all expectations, there is no dissension because when Doolittle announces that he wants his daughter, Higgins agrees thoroughly; he tells Doolittle to "take her away at once." This both shocks and surprises Doolittle, who definitely does not want his daughter; after all, he
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