by George Bernard Shaw
Pygmalion Dreams, Hopes, and Plans 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.
LIZA. No: I don't want no gold and no diamonds. I'm a good girl, I am. [She sits down again, with an attempt at dignity]. (2.145)
Throughout the play, Eliza insists that she does not want the usual things: gold, diamonds, fancy dresses. She wants to maintain her dignity and achieve her original goal.
HIGGINS. Playing! The hardest job I ever tackled: make no mistake about that, mother. But you have no idea how frightfully interesting it is to take a human being and change her into a quite different human being by creating a new speech for her. It's filling up the deepest gulf that separates class from class and soul from soul. (2.223)
Higgins's task becomes more than a simple matter or training, or a test of skill. He is totally wrapped up in the idea of bringing together humankind, one person at a time.
HIGGINS. It was a silly notion: the whole thing has been a bore.
PICKERING. Oh come! the garden party was frightfully exciting. My heart began beating like anything.
HIGGINS. Yes, for the first three minutes. But when I saw we were going to win hands down, I felt like a bear in a cage, hanging about doing nothing […] No more artificial duchesses. The whole thing has been simple purgatory. (4.21-23)
Just as soon as he has achieved his goal, Higgins has lost interest in his achievement. He seems to confirm that old saying: "it's about the journey, not the destination."