In Pygmalion what is it that Higgins learned from Eliza even though he was her teacher?

Quick answer:

Higgins may not have learned from Eliza that he should treat her with respect, but he does learn to see her as an independent woman who does not need him.

Expert Answers

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One might be tempted to say that the pig-headed Henry Higgins learned nothing from Eliza Doolittle, but that's not entirely true. While he continues to treat her rudely and orders her around as if she is his errand-girl, by the end of the play he has developed a grudging admiration for her newfound spunk. She is no longer afraid to fight back against him. He says, "I like you like this." He also praises her strength of character. He even tells her she is throwing herself away on Freddie, saying she could marry a king if she wanted.

Higgins also expresses surprise when Eliza informs him that she learned how to be a lady from Pickering's example, not from Higgins, indicating that Eliza's good opinion means something to him. 

In the end, Higgins has, in fact, brought a statue to life, as in the original Greek myth: Eliza becomes her own person, independent of her "creator." His behavior may not change, but he has possibly developed an awareness that Eliza is a human being, not just an experiment in linguistics. 

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