Discuss the transformation of Eliza.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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    Eliza Doolittle makes the transition from uneducated Cockney flower girl to elegant duchess in George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion. Eliza's transformation from a girl of the streets to a beauty whose manners and appearance inspires awe--from just about everyone except Henry Higgins, that is--is complete, up to the end of the experiment. After Higgins wins his bet, his job is over, and Eliza's allure proves to have worked on everyone except the man who has shaped her new persona. She realizes that her new life has come to a standstill, since she feels she can no longer return to her flowers. However, her capacity for learning and change is still in its infancy, and Eliza still has enormous room to grow. It is Higgins who has reached his limits, and he is the one with a lack of inner growth capabilities. Meanwhile, Eliza discovers that appearances and social graces are not necessarily a means to an end, for in Higgins she sees that perfection is only skin deep. She has been become a lady in nearly every respect, but Higgins still fails to treat her as one. Consequently, her intellectual growth is not a completely happy one since her new independence repels Higgins and, in the end, she sees that he is far from the perfect man. And, in turn, she finds her new identity, her new class status, a mystery as well.

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