Discuss the transformation of Eliza.

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Under the tutelage of Henry Higgins, Eliza Doolittle's accent, dress, and manners change so that she transforms from a working-class Cockney woman into an upper-class English lady. By showing how easily Eliza becomes upper-class by adopting only a few superficial changes, Shaw skewers an ideology that maintains that the upper classes are "innately" superior to the the lower. Even a little education, the play shows, can make a lady out of a flower seller.

But Eliza's transformation goes deeper, and Shaw shows this to be both positive and negative. On the positive side, her acceptance into higher society builds her sense of confidence and self-worth. She rebels and asserts herself against Henry Higgins' verbal abuse, such as his calling her a "squashed cabbage," as well as his careless assumption that she will always function to suit his convenience--and go away as soon as she becomes inconvenient. Henry treats her as a thing:...

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