To the original audience, was Eliza's seeking refuge at Mrs Higgins's in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (Scene V) considered proper?    

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Eliza Doolittle’s seeking refuge at Mrs Higgins's in Scene V of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion was not only considered proper, but it remedied the impropriety of her living with Higgins. For a well-bred girl to have lived in a bachelor’s house, even with the housekeeper acting as a quasi-chaperone, would have been scandalous. In part, Eliza gets away with this very irregular arrangement because she is not a proper middle class young woman at the beginning of the play, despite her avowals of respectability. Her taking refuge with Mrs. Higgins not only is proper (Mrs. Higgins is a respectable female) but also shows Eliza’s internalization of the mores of the upper middle classes.


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