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In G.B. Shaw's Pygmalion, how is Mrs. Higgins' house different from her son's house?

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nida321 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM via web

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In G.B. Shaw's Pygmalion, how is Mrs. Higgins' house different from her son's house?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:21 PM (Answer #1)

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It is ironic that Mrs. Higgins' house should be the complete opposite from that of her son's because one would think that such a wonderful lady would have a similar son. However, Mr. Higgins is an academic bachelor who has an old woman for a housekeeper. The housekeeper does the best she can with what she has to work with, but the messes that Henry leaves behind him are so plentiful that it is tough for her to keep up with. On the other hand, Mrs. Higgins is a proper mother and widow who keeps her home clean and well-organized. Her wayward and overbearing son is completely the opposite of his mother when it comes to society and manners, so why wouldn't he be just as opposite with the maintenance of his household? This opposition between mother and son brings irony and contrast to the play both dramatically and comically.

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