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

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Very simply, Mrs. Higgin's home is elegantly furnished, while her son's home is haphazardly arranged.

It appears that Mrs. Higgins has decorated her home to demonstrate her good taste. So, there are no visible trinkets strewn about the room or "odds and ends of useless things" in strange places. The carpets, furniture, and window furnishings are of the highest quality.

There are a few good oil paintings on the wall, and there is even a portrait of Mrs. Higgins among them. The arrangement of furniture lends a harmonious balance to the living room. There are also flower pots on the balcony, and all is order, beauty, and neatness.

On the other hand, Mr. Higgins has converted part of his living room into a laboratory. In this part of the room, there are file cabinets and a flat writing-table, on which has been placed all manner of objects. Among the objects are a laryngoscope, a phonograph, tuning-forks of differing sizes, a "life-size image of half a human head, showing in section the vocal organs," and a row of organ pipes, complete with bellows.

The only object of measurable elegance is a grand piano next to a side wall. There is a dessert dish on top of the piano, and it is filled with fruits and sweets (mostly chocolates). There are no paintings on the wall, only engravings. The furniture seems to have been arranged haphazardly, without thought to harmony or beauty.

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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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