The Man Of Hypocrisy (analysis Essay

This essay has a total of 992 words and 4 pages.

The Man Of Hypocrisy (analysis


The Man of Hypocrisy

'Manners are the happy way of doing things'; according to Ralph Waldo Emerson. According
to Emerson people use manners as a front to make themselves look better. Inherently, this
will lead to a contradiction of the front and the reality. One such man who is most
concerned with manners is the protagonist of Shaw's Pygmalion, Professor Henry Higgins.
Higgins is a man who displays contradictions within his character. He is in the business
of teaching proper manners, although lacks them himself. In addition, Higgins is an
intelligent man, and yet he is ignorant of the feelings of those around him. Another
apparent contradiction is that Higgins' outer charm serves to hide his bullying nature. He
manipulates Eliza and others around him to serve his own purposes, without any regard for
her feelings.

Higgins, a teacher of proprietary manners, lacks those very manners which others pay to
learn from him. Ironically, Higgins believes that he is the greatest teacher of manners.
He announces that in 'three months [he] could pass [Eliza] off as a duchess.'; Higgins
thinks that he can take any lower class girl and pass her off as a duchess. He truly
believes that he is capable of transforming Eliza. Once the teaching begins, Higgins shows
no respect for others in his life. When he goes to see his mother, she reminds him that
'[he] promised not to come on'; her days when she is having guests. He ignores this
promise to his mother because he believes that his newest experiment is more important
than his mother's insignificant visitors are. This behavior continues throughout the
course of the experiment, and even after it is over. Higgins and Colonel Pickering speak
about Eliza as if she is a pet or a possession that exists solely for their amusement.
After Higgins and Pickering settle their bet, Higgins reveals that he is relieved and he
'thank[s] God that it is over with.'; Higgins is insensitive to the fact that his lessons
have become a major part of Eliza's life. When Higgins says to Eliza's face that he is
happy the lessons are finished, he is oblivious to the power of his words over her.
Higgins is unaware that Eliza is devastated. He is bored of teaching manners to her. His
lack of manners is a contributing factor to his separation from other people.

Even though the Professor is a highly intelligent man, he is completely ignorant of other
peoples' feelings. Colonel Pickering 'came all the way from India to meet [the
Professor].'; Pickering will not travel halfway around the world if the Professor is not
smart. Despite his extreme intelligence, Higgins is unaware of the fact that Eliza is a
person with real emotions and feelings. Mrs. Pearce informs Higgins that he can not take a
girl off the street as if she is a pebble off the ground. Higgins only reply to this is
'Why not?'; thereby displaying that he is insensitive and ignorant of Eliza's feelings. He
is so myopic that he does not see the need to have any concern whatsoever for Eliza. When
Eliza first comes to Higgins with her request to be taught, he sees her only as an
experiment, instead of as a real person. He refers to her as baggage and wonders whether
she should 'sit down or be thrown out the window?'; The only issue to him is whether or
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