1. Mr. Higgins
Mr. Higgins is a Professor of phonetics. He is a confirmed old bachelor of forty. He is a shy and diffident sort of man. He has never been able to feel really grown up and tremendous like other people. The language laboratory of Mr. Higgins is in situated Wimpole street in London. It is a room on the first floor, looking on the street. Originally, it was meant for the drawing room. Many apparatuses are kept on the table. Mr. Higgins is a robust, vital and appetizing sort of man. He is dressed in a professional looking black frock-coat with a white liven collar and black silk tie. He is of the energetic, scientific type, heartily, and even violently interested in everything that can be studied as a scientific subject. He is careless about himself and other people including their feelings. He is but for his years and size rather like a very impetuous body “taking notice.” His manner varies from general bullying when he is in a good humour to stormy petulance when anything goes wrong. He is so entirely frank and void of malice that he remains likeable even in his least reasonable moments.
Mr. Higgins is a man of humanitarian outlook. His hearts is filled with the milk of human kindness. When he meets the flower girl in the portico of the church, he feels pity for her. He is pained to listen to her disgusting vulgar pronunciation. He at once decides to help her in improving her status. He talks to her and assures her to make her speak like Dutchess within a very short time. Mr. Higgins accepts her as one of his students and takes every care to improve her pronunciation. She is responsive to the teachings of her teacher and within a very short time she starts speaking fluently like a Dutchess. One day, Mr. Higgins and the flower girl, whose name is Eliza Doolittle, is invited into an embassy. There Eliza become successful in talking and behaving like a Dutchess. The success of Eliza is the success of Mr. Higgins.
Mr. Higgins is a bare and dry sort of man. Eliza feels for him greatly because he has helped her in improving her status. She also wants to be It for by Mr. Higgins. But this she does not get from Mr. Higgins. In the st Act, Eliza says that she would not marry him, even if he proposed to her. Mr. Higgins himself is curiously insensitive to sexual emotions. He does not love young women, because he finds in them poor rivals to his own mother. Old Mr. Higgins, who know much about women, says that it would have been all right if he had thanked her, petted her, and told her how splendid she had been. Every girl has a right to be loved and Eliza loves and is loved by Freddy Hill whom she marries. Professor Higgins remains as ever, an old bachelor.
Professor Higgins is a good teacher and he is also a social rebel. He hates the shallow politeness of smart society and will not practice its small hypocrisies. He, therefore, interests us as a rebel even though his rebellion makes him rude and heartless. Eliza-Doolittle is a character we cannot quickly forget because Shaw makes us see that inside the rough flower-girl as we meet her at the beginning of the play is the fine and sensitive woman who emerges latter as a result of Mr. Higgin’s teaching and colonel Pickering’s kindness and courtesy.
Thus, Mr. Higgins is an interesting character in Pygmalion. He is a matter of fact and scientific type of man.
2. Mr. Pickering
Mr. Pickering is the friend of Mr. Higgins. He is a man of scholarly type. He is a master of oriental languages. Previously, he was a colonel in the army. He is an elderly gentleman of the amiable military type. He works in the language laboratory of Mr. Higgins. He has great interest in Eliza Doolittle who is learning phonetics from Mr. Higgins. Mr. Pickering teaches her lesson in kindness and courtesy. This makes her a full woman. Previous, Eliza was rough and vulgar, unrefined and rustic. But it is Mr. Pickering who makes her refined and sophisticated.
3. Freddy Hill
Freddy Hill is the son of Mrs. Eynsford Hill. He is a young man of twenty. He is in evening dress. As it is raining in torrents, he has become wet. Freddy is very active and smart. At the outset of the play, we see him busy in finding a cab for his mother and sister who are waiting under the portico of St. Paul’s Church. When Freddy comes there to inform his mother about the scarcity of cabs, he collides with a flower girl who is hurrying in for shelter. As a result of this collision, the flowers of the girl are scattered on the pavement of the road. The name of the flower girl is Eliza. Doolittle the very first encounter, love germinates into the heart of Freddy for her. This undercurrent of love develops later in the marriage. Eliza Doolittle prefers Freddy to Mr. Higgins because he is capable of loving her. On the other hand, Mr. Higgins is bare, curt and unemotional. He is shown only as a specialist in phonetics with an utter insensibility to all kinds of deep emotions.
Thus we see that Mr. Freddy is a youthful character in Pygmalion. He is bubbling with vitality and enthusiasm. This quality of his personality helps him in winning the hands of Eliza Doolittle in marriage.
4. Alfred Doolittle
Alfred Doolittle is a humorous character in Pygmalion. He is the father of Eliza Doolittle, the flower girl. He is an elderly but vigorous dustman. He is a clad in the costume of his profession including a hat with a back brim covering his neck and shoulders. He is well marked and rather interesting features, and seems equally free from fear and conscience. He has a remarkably expressive voice. It is the result of a habit of giving vent to his feelings without reserve. The native humour of a man who moves independently of convention is best seen in the life of Mr. Alfred Doolittle. Society makes a pretense that it distributes its wealth among its members as they deserve, an arrangement which’s not only unworkable but also iniquitous. Alfred Doolittle, an original moralist, exposes the injustice of conventional standards which pretend to consider what they desire to earn rather that what they desire to consume. He is one of the undeserving poor and frankly makes his claims on that basis, “I am, says he, one of he undeserving poor, that is what I am, think of what that means to a man, It means that he’s up against middle class morality all the time. If here is anything going, and I put in a bit for it, it is always the same story, “You’re underserving; so you can’t have it.” But any need is as great 25 the most underserving widow’s that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband. I don’t need less than a deserving man; I need more. I don’t eat lefts heartily than him; and I drink a lot more. Well, they charge me just the same for everything as they charge the deserving. Alfred Doolittle is militantly unbourgeois even when he has suddenly come in for an inheritance. He feels that he will no longer be happy, that he is being intimidated by a morality that is opposed to the spirit of life. “We are all intimidated, says he “intimidated, ma, am: that is what we are intimidated, what is there for me if I chuck it but the work-house in my old age? Happier men than me will call for my dust and touch me for their steps, and I’ll look on helpless, and envy them.” Doolittle is in every respect an ordinary man. It is only his original morality combined with his general incompetence that makes him not only within himself but also the cause that wit is in others, and this brings him within the province of humour.
5. Eliza Doolittle
Eliza Doolittle is the heroine of Pygmalion. She appears in the early part of the play as a flower girl. While coming to seek shelter in St. Paul’s church she collides with Freddy, her would be husband. This collision is of accidental. She is a poor girl. She is the daughter of Alfred Doolittle who is a dustman. She earns her bread by selling flowers from door to door. She is not at all a romantic figure. She is perhaps eighteen or twenty. She wears a little sailor hat of black straw that has long been exposed to the dust and soot of London and has seldom if ever been brushed. Her hair needs washing rather badly. Its many colour can hardly be natural. She wears a shoddy black coat that reaches nearly to her knees and is shaped to her waist. She has a brown skirt with a coarse apron. Her boots are much the Loose for wear. She is no doubt as clean as she can afford to be. But compared to the ladies, she is very dirty. Her features are no worse than theirs. But their condition leaves something to be desired and she needs the services of a dentist:
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Mr. Higgins is a Professor of phonetics. He is compassionate to the flower girl. The residence of the flower girl is situated Buckingham palace area in London. As she is extremely poor, she lives in a single seated room. It is a very much damp and out of repair. Her bed is absolutely wretched. But she is ambitious and hard-working. When Mr. Higging offers to teach her phonetics and decent behaviour, she at once goes to him and starts taking lessons. As she is highly sensitive and intelligent, she picks up what is taught very quickly. Within a very short period of time, she speaks and behaves like a Duchess. She becomes so smart and fashionable that even her father. Mr. Alfred Doolittle fails to recognize her. She is invited at an embassy and there she distinguishes herself in the assembly by virtue of her decent conservation and behaviour. This triumph of Eliza is the triumph of Mr. Higgins who teach her very laboriously. But Eliza does not marry him because he is insensitive to sexual emotions. He does not love young women because he finds in them poor rivals to his own mother, Every girl has a right to be loved and Eliza loves and is loved by Freddy Hill whom she marries.
Thus, Eliza Doolittle is a memorable character in Pygmalion. We cannot easily forget her because Shaw makes us see that inside the rough flower girl as we meet her at the beginning of the play is fine and sensitive women who emerges later as a result of Higgin’s teaching and colonel Pickering’s kindness and courtesy.
6. Mrs. Eynsford Hill
Mrs. Eynsford Hill is a minor character in Pygmalion. She is a lady of middle age. She is the mother of Freddy and Clara, while Freddy is her
son Clara is her daughter. She was out for marketing. But she is caught in the sudden torrential rain. Naturally, she has taken shelter in the portico of St. Paul’s church. She is kind and compassionate. When Freddy destroys the flowers of Eliza when he is collided with her, she pays six pence to the poor flower girl as compensation. We come across Mrs. Eynsford Hill only for a short period in the play, she is well freed quiet, and has the habitual anxiety of straightened means.
7. Mrs. Higgins
Mrs. Higgins is the mother of Mr. Higgins, the professor of phonetics She has full knowledge of women psychology. She gives full training to his son regarding love. But as his son is not responsive to it, she get Eliza Doolittle married to Mr. Freddy Hill. If Freddy Hill who loves her from the core of hearts. The role of Mrs. Higgins in Pygmalion is minor one. It is not very important in the development of the central action of the play.