|Term Paper Title
||Pygmalion: Professor Higgins Philosophy
|# of Words
|# of Pages (250 words per page double spaced)
Pygmalion: Professor Higgins' Philosophy
Professor Higgins is seen throughout Pygmalion as a very rude man.
While one may expect a well educated man, such as Higgins, to be a gentleman, he
is far from it. Higgins believes that how you treated someone is not important,
as long as you treat everyone equally.
The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or
any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human
souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-
class carriages, and one soul is as good as another. -Higgins, Act V Pygmalion.
Higgins presents this theory to Eliza, in hope of justifying his treatment of
her. This theory would be fine IF Higgins himself lived by it. Henry Higgins,
however, lives by a variety of variations of this philosophy.
It is easily seen how Higgins follows this theory. He is consistently
rude towards Eliza, Mrs. Pearce, and his mother. His manner is the same to each
of them, in accordance to his philosophy. However the Higgins we see at the
parties and in good times with Pickering is well mannered. This apparent
discrepancy between Higgins' actions and his word, may not exist, depending on
the interpretation of this theory.
There are two possible translations of Higgins' philosophy. It can be
viewed as treating everyone the same all of the time or treating everyone
equally at a particular time.
It is obvious that Higgins does not treat everyone equally all of the
time, as witnessed by his actions when he is in "one of his states" (as Mrs.
Higgins' parlor maid calls it). The Higgins that we see in Mrs. Higgins'
parlor is not the same Higgins we see at the parties. When in "the state" Henry
Higgins wanders aimlessly around the parlor, irrationally moving from chair to
chair, highly unlike the calm Professor Higgins we see at the ball. Higgins
does not believe that a person should have the same manner towards everyone all
of the time, but that a person should treat everyone equally at a given time (or
in a certain situation). ...
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