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Pygmalion

Pygmalion

by George Bernard Shaw

Women and Femininity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

LIZA [continuing] It was just like learning to dance in the fashionable way: there was nothing more than that in it. But do you know what began my real education?
PICKERING. What?
LIZA [stopping her work for a moment] Your calling me Miss Doolittle that day when I first came to Wimpole Street. That was the beginning of self-respect for me. [She resumes her stitching]. And there were a hundred little things you never noticed, because they came naturally to you. Things about standing up and taking off your hat and opening doors— (5.137-9)

Eliza's statement seems curiously anti-feminist. (Of course, one has to be careful using these more recent terms when talking about a work like this.) It makes sense that Eliza would feel more special or important after receiving that kind of treatment, but at the same time the sincerity of her words has to be called into question. She does tell Pickering this in the presence of Higgins, perhaps in order to infuriate her teacher?

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