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Pygmalion

Pygmalion

by George Bernard Shaw

Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

THE MOTHER. Now tell me how you know that young gentleman's name.
THE FLOWER GIRL. I didn't.
THE MOTHER. I heard you call him by it. Don't try to deceive me.
THE FLOWER GIRL [protesting] Who's trying to deceive you? I called him Freddy or Charlie same as you might yourself if you was talking to a stranger and wished to be pleasant. [She sits down beside her basket]. (1.41-44)

Even the things we do to establish a connection with unfamiliar people and things – like using slang or nicknames – can end up causing confusion and cases of mistaken identity.

Quote #2

THE FLOWER GIRL [springing up terrified] I ain't done nothing wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I've a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb. [Hysterically] I'm a respectable girl: so help me, I never spoke to him except to ask him to buy a flower off me […] They'll take away my character and drive me on the streets for speaking to gentlemen. They— (1.59)

Eliza seems extremely insecure about her own identity and character. She fears that even the smallest offense will lead people to look at her and treat her differently.

Quote #3

THE BYSTANDER. It's all right: he's a gentleman: look at his boots. [Explaining to the note taker] She thought you was a copper's nark, sir. (1.61)

We see here that identity can be determined by something as small as a pair of boots.

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