In G.B. Shaw's play "Pygmalion," what does Eliza mean when she says, "I am a good girl"?   

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eliza says, "I'm a good girl, I am" in the opening scene of the play after her quality of character is mistakenly called into question. From the context of the dialogue, one can infer that as Eliza was selling flowers on the street late at night, she could have been perceived as a lady of the night. No one thought she was anything but innocent until they noticed Henry taking down notes off to the side. Everyone suspected that he was a "copper nark," a detective, or an informer for the police. The characters on the street started to assume that Henry was writing down evidence against Eliza and started to stick up for her. At one point, a sarcastic bystander said to Eliza, "I'd like to go into the Housing Question with you, I would," which set her up to look like a lady of the night. Her response was that she is a good girl and wouldn't do something impure like that.