by George Bernard Shaw
Pygmalion Appearance Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
Mrs. and Miss Eynsford Hill are the mother and daughter who sheltered from the rain in Covent Garden. The mother is well bred, quiet, and has the habitual anxiety of straitened means. The daughter has acquired a gay air of being very much at home in society: the bravado of genteel poverty. (3.43)
Though Mrs. and Miss Eynsford Hill are both subject to the same kind of "genteel poverty," each expresses their condition in a different way, perhaps because of the difference in age.
Eliza, who is exquisitely dressed, produces an impression of such remarkable distinction and beauty as she enters that they all rise, quite flustered. Guided by Higgins's signals, she comes to Mrs. Higgins with studied grace. (3.91)
Eliza, first described as "not at all attractive," has become incredibly desirable thanks to some nice clothing, jewelry, and a few months of training. Appearance is a changeable, and powerful, thing.
Eliza opens the door and is seen on the lighted landing in opera cloak, brilliant evening dress, and diamonds, with fan, flowers, and all accessories. She comes to the hearth, and switches on the electric lights there. She is tired: her pallor contrasts strongly with her dark eyes and hair; and her expression is almost tragic. (4.1)
The contrast between Eliza's clothing and her face, between their elegance and her sadness, recalls the disconnect between Eliza's magnificent skills and her opportunities to employ them.