by George Bernard Shaw
Pygmalion Manipulation 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.
PICKERING. Higgins: I'm interested. What about the ambassador's garden party? I'll say you're the greatest teacher alive if you make that good. I'll bet you all the expenses of the experiment you can't do it. And I'll pay for the lessons.
LIZA. Oh, you are real good. Thank you, Captain.
HIGGINS [tempted, looking at her] It's almost irresistible. She's so deliciously low—so horribly dirty—
LIZA [protesting extremely] Ah—ah—ah—ah—ow—ow—oooo!!! I ain't dirty: I washed my face and hands afore I come, I did. (2.76-9)
Higgins's motives for helping Eliza do not seem to spring from compassion, but the skills he agrees to teach her are certainly intended to help her prosper.
HIGGINS [storming on] Take all her clothes off and burn them. Ring up Whiteley or somebody for new ones. Wrap her up in brown paper till they come. (2.86)
Higgins is so quickly wrapped up (pun not intended) in his project, that he immediately starts to treat her as an object, raw material for his designs.
HIGGINS. Listen, Eliza. I think you said you came in a taxi.
LIZA. Well, what if I did? I've as good a right to take a taxi as anyone else.
HIGGINS. You have, Eliza; and in future you shall have as many taxis as you want. You shall go up and down and round the town in a taxi every day. Think of that, Eliza. (2.140-142)
Higgins takes a strange pleasure in tempting Eliza, as if he is scared she will run away. It seems as though he may be attached to her long before he pleads for her to stay at Wimpole Street.