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Pygmalion - What Is Your Reaction to Shaw's Decision That Higgins and Eliza Should Not Get Married?

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What is your reaction to Shaw’s decision that Higgins and Eliza should not get married?

In the pay Pygmalion, Shaw’s decision not to marry Eliza and Higgins was made to make the ending of the story more realistic. If Eliza and Higgins were to be married, their relationship would not have been a happy or mutual relationship. If Eliza married Higgins, her new education would have been wasted, thus defeating the purpose of having Higgins educate Eliza. The two marrying would also have left the audience unsure whether Eliza had developed independence. Shaw chooses to close the play just before any wedding were to occur, to make the audience think about what should happen.

Throughout Pygmalion, Higgins is cruel and exhibits derogatory behaviour towards Eliza. His first impression of her is of a “squashed cabbage”. At the end of the play, he does not have this impression of her, yet he still does not show any affection towards Eliza and is cruel to her in this way. Due to his personality, he cannot change this characteristic of himself. If there was to be a successful relationship between the two, Higgins would have to become more affectionate towards Eliza, something that he cannot do. If they were to be married regardless of this, the marriage would be an unhappy one as Higgins would continue to dominate over Eliza’s life. Higgins does not understand the idea of affection that Eliza has for him. This is seen when Eliza asks Higgins “What did you do it for if you didn’t care for me” and Higgins ignorantly replies “Why, because it was my job”. This void between the two would separate the two and their relationship would not last.

Higgins bestows Eliza with a great deal of education. Eliza learns much from Higgins’ experiment and is almost able to outsmart him. However, Eliza does not realise her new abilities and feels that Higgins has taken away her independence. However, this is not the case. Eliza’s new

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