What were the influences that transformed Liza Doolittle in "Pygmalion"?

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reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are quite a few influences that shape Liza Doolittle. First of all, the most apparent is Professor Higgins and his wager with Pickering to transform Liza from being a common guttersnipe into a lady. Higgins has the ability, through his studies and teaching, to transform her, and they both have the money and social status to make the transformation occur. However, it is Liza, herself, who wants to change her life and become a lady so she can work in a flower-shop rather than sell flowers to Gentlemen and Ladies on the street. It is Liza's determination and later her desire to please Higgins and prove she has the ability to learn and refine herself that drive her to success even though the ending of the play may seem unsatisfying to those who hope for the Cinderella fairy-tale ending.

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A couple of influences that transformed Liza Doolittle in Pygmalion are Higgins, obviously, and Liza's desire to please him.  Higgins made Liza his experiment, simply to prove he could turn a rather rough around the edges lady into a proper, classy lady.  As he worked with Eliza, he found that his feelings changed and it became more personal instead of experimental.  Also, Liza, in the beginning, wanted to please Higgins and she tried very hard to make the changes he wanted her to.  Also, she is very intelligent, despite her background and the stereotypes that Higgins had about her, so she learned very quickly.