Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw Essay

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"Pygmalion" by Bernard Shaw

The word 'benefit' is defined as; 'a favourable or helpful factor or
circumstance'. Many benefits are not immediately recognised, as they
can be the result of something bad. In the play 'Pygmalion', by
Bernard Shaw, Liza gains many benefits, but also disadvantages from
her relationship with Higgins. Looking at benefits, she receives some
beautiful clothes; 'I'm to have fashionable clothes' (p. 63), a good
place to stay and financial ease. She meets other friends such as
Freddy; 'I'll marry Freddy, I will' (p. 131), and she has permanent
companions. However, though she has learned good speech with Higgins,
she has not learnt manners, and is treated almost like an animal. She
is unhappy for a while
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She later marries Freddy, as shown
in the epilogue, although towards the end of the play she is openly
declaring her love for Freddy; 'You are the loveliest, dearest…' (p.
106). Finally, Eliza also gains a benefit, which would not be
immediately obvious, of learning about the upper class world. This is
definitely a benefit, as it will be useful to her in the future for
her translations of other people's behaviour. She has learnt how upper
class people treat their inferiors; 'My betters that bully me and
don't want me' (p. 129). This can often show the measure of people;
depending on how they treat those less fortunate than themselves.

In contrast, Eliza also encounters a number of disadvantages working
with Higgins. Firstly, she was taught badly in the manners of upper
class people, although she did actually learn correctly through
Colonel Pickering, such as; 'things about standing up, and taking off
your hat' (p. 122). She decided that Higgins' bad manners were 'his
way' (p. 122), as he behaved the same to everyone. However, she was
taught badly by him, as few upper class people would behave as he did.
Secondly, a disadvantage of her relationship with Higgins was Eliza's
treatment. Higgins treated her as nothing more than a servant when he
was not teaching her phonetics, and using her to win his bet. He
simply treated her 'just the same…