Pygmalion: Professor Higgins' Philosophy

Professor Higgins is seen throughout Pygmalion as a very rude man.
While one may expect a well educated man, such as Higgins, to be a gentleman, he
is far from it. Higgins believes that how you treated someone is not important,
as long as you treat everyone equally.
The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or
any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human
souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-
class carriages, and one soul is as good as another. -Higgins, Act V Pygmalion.
Higgins presents this theory to Eliza, in hope of justifying his treatment of
her. This theory would be fine IF ...

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interpretation of this theory.
There are two possible translations of Higgins' philosophy. It can be
viewed as treating everyone the same all of the time or treating everyone
equally at a particular time.
It is obvious that Higgins does not treat everyone equally all of the
time, as witnessed by his actions when he is in "one of his states" (as Mrs.
Higgins' parlor maid calls it). The Higgins that we see in Mrs. Higgins'
parlor is not the same Higgins we see at the parties. When in "the state" Henry
Higgins wanders aimlessly around the parlor, irrationally moving from chair to
chair, highly unlike the calm Professor Higgins we see at the ball. Higgins
does not believe that a person should have the same manner towards everyone all
of the time, but that a person should treat everyone equally at a given time (or
in a certain situation). When he is in "one of those states" his manner is the
same towards everyone; he is equally rude and disrespectful to all. Yet ...

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Pygmalion: Professor Higgins' Philosophy. (2006, June 4). Retrieved March 20, 2019, from
"Pygmalion: Professor Higgins' Philosophy.", 4 Jun. 2006. Web. 20 Mar. 2019. <>
"Pygmalion: Professor Higgins' Philosophy." June 4, 2006. Accessed March 20, 2019.
"Pygmalion: Professor Higgins' Philosophy." June 4, 2006. Accessed March 20, 2019.
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Added: 6/4/2006 03:40:03 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 716
Pages: 3

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