How does society see Liza at the end of Pygmalion?

2 Answers | Add Yours

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Liza is stuck in the middle of two classes.  She is no longer able to fit in with her flower-selling counterparts as she no longer looks or speaks the part.  In fact, when she goes back to her roots, no one she knows recognizes her.  She has been programed by Higgins to "be a duchess," yet she has no title, no money, no family, and no support system. 

She is enamored with Freddy, because he loves her and wants to marry her, but she is in love with Higgins.  Higgins, a self-proclaimed bachelor, does not wish to get married.  The reader is left to believe that he would allow her to live in his home as a "slipper-fetcher" and arm-ornament for those posh Victorian parties, but nothing more. 

Higgins won the bet, but he left Liza with nowhere to go.  It is understandable that she is frustrated and angry.  Her independence has been stripped from her as she is no longer able to support herself.  Perhaps she will sell flowers in a flower shop if someone will hire her without any work experience, but it is more likely she will marry and be miserable.

sullymonster's profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Liza at the end of the play is well-dressed and well-spoken.  She is rejected by the people she once associated with for being "too high class".  She is accepted on the surface by that high class for her outward appearance.  Freddy is quite impressed by her and wants to marry her.  At the ball, she is accepted at as a Duchess.  However, she has no experience in this society.  She can't get a job in a flower shop because she has no history of work.  Higgins has prepared her to be a "woman of means", and yet she has no means and no place to go.  Victorian society is based on class division and gender division - every person has their role to play and must stay in their roles.  Liza has lost her place.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,993 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question