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How Does Shaw Use Dramatic Effect To

Emphasize The Change In Eliza? Essay, Research Paper

The most

obvious change in Eliza is her progression from being a flower girl in act 1 to

a poised, well spoken lady we see in acts 4 and 5. Shaw describes

Eliza as ?not at all a romantic figure. Perhaps eighteen, perhaps twenty,

hardly older.? She is loud with a strong cockney accent. Her first words are

unintelligible. And to show this Shaw has written it in the phonetic alphabet,

to stress that the pronunciation and speech is crucial as people judge other

people on the way they speak and act. Shaw employs

many dramatic techniques to effect this change. At the start of the play Eliza

is naive and simple. She has grown up with the lack of a decent adult role

model and most of the time has to fend for her self. Her father is among the

undeserving poor. Despite this Eliza is ambitious, and desires to better

herself. She the opportunity to do so when the other two main characters both

studying phonetics. The two men introduce themselves as colonel Pickering and

Mr. Higgins. This scene takes place in Covent Garden. The stage directions

describe it to been having ?Torrents of heavy summer rain. Cab whistles blowing

frantically in all directions. Pedestrians running for shelter into the Portico

of St Paul?s church.? Shaw does this cleverly; it gives him the chance to bring

people from all classes together. She first

notices Mr. Higgins when a bystander questions on what he is writing as she is

talking to a gentleman. The crowd instantly think he is a policeman and is

about to charge Eliza. But they soon realize that he is not as one-bystander

comments on his boots. ?Its aw rawt: e?s a genleman: look at his bЛ-oots.? She

then gets introduced to colonel Pickering when he explains that he has come to

England on a visit from India to meet Mr. Higgins. In this scene

Mr. Higgins is extremely rude to Eliza. He treats her as a ?draggletailed

gutter snipe? and does not take her feelings into account. Whilst colonel

Pickering treats her as her would any other person. During this encounter

Higgins exclaims that he could trick people into thinking Eliza is a duchess.

?Well, sir, in three months I could pass that girl off as a duchess at an

ambassador?s garden party. I could even get her a place as a lady?s maid or

shop assistant, which requires better English? Although

Eliza?s outward appearance and the way she presents herself change through out

the play her morality never does. When she is accused of being a prostitute she

defends her reputation and shows pride in what she does as many young girls in

her position would often turn to prostitution to survive, but she is against

this and will not go against what she believes is right. ?I?ve a right to sell

flowers if I keep off the curb? ?I?m a respectable girl so help me?. She is

appalled when Mr. Higgins continues to discriminate her appearance, life style

and dignity. Although she has made it blatantly obvious that she is hurt by his

thoughtless comments. ?he?s no right to take away my character. My character is

the same to me as any lady?s?. Although she is lower class she has a sense of

dignity and is proud of what she does. But still wishes to better her self. Here Eliza

also gets introduced to the Eynsford Hills. Shaw uses them for contrast. They

themselves are upper class but poor. Eliza accidentally starts talking when the

son of Mrs. Eynsford hills, Freddy bumps into her in a rush to get under the

shade. She almost instantly replies with ?Nah then, Freddy; look wh? y? gowin,

deah?. Freddy is ineffectual and laidback. He feels that he is too good to have

a job, and even if he tried he would not be able to keep it. ?If Freddy had a

bit of gumption he would of got a job at the theatre door?. Stage directions

describe him as a ?young man of about twenty?, in evening dress, very wet

around the ankles?. His mother is curious on how Eliza knows her sons name.

This encounter plays an important role later on in the play when she revisits

them. In this act it seems as if the Eynsford Hills are in a ?higher class? of

society than Eliza. Later on the tables turn. Shaw also uses

the ladies for comparasson through their appearance, with Eliza. Compared to

Mrs. Eynsford Hills and her daughter, Eliza has a scruffy and dirty look.

However she is as clean and as tidy as she can afford to be. Shaw has also

taken Eliza?s costume into consideration as many people make their first

judgments on a person based on what they choose to wear or in this case what

they can afford to wear. He states in the stage directions that ? She wears a

little sailor hat of black straw that has long been exposed to the dust and

soot of London and has seldom, if ever been brushed. Her hair needs washing

rather badly; its mousy colour can hardly be natural. She wears a shoddy black

coat that reaches nearly to her knees and is shaped to her waist. She has a

brown skirt with a coarse apron. Her boots are much the worse for wear.? ?She

needs the services of a dentist!? Eliza makes on

final attempt to sell colonel Pickering a flower. After a brief argument

Higgins throws a handful of coins into her basket. She picks up the coins with

loud exclamations of delight. She falls to her knees scrubbing for coins and

making uncouth noises. With this money she has gathered she takes a cab home,

this shows that she is longing for a better life and change. Act 2 takes

place in Mr. Higgins? laboratory; 27A Wimpole Street Where Mr. Higgins is

showing Colonel Pickering around his laboratory.? This scene

marks the beginning of Eliza?s progression towards change. Eliza had heard what

Mr. Higgins had said the night before about how he has the ability to improve

her speech so that even the most intelligible people would think that she was a

duchess. She had decided to invest in this statement and offers to pay for

speech classes. ?I won?t give more than a shilling, take it or leave it?.

Higgins is impressed, as this is a large part of her income. Pickering

challenges Higgins to a bet claiming that he ?shall make a duchess of this draggle

tailed gutter snipe?. She shows

ignorance when she is led to the bathroom; she thinks that the bathtub is for

boiling clothes. However when Mrs. Pierce finally manages to clean her up her

appearance changes dramatically. So much so her own father doesn?t recognize

her and mistakes her for a lady. ? Well, I never thought she?d clean up as good

looking as that?. Eliza

continues to be modest and moral. ?I?ll tell you, it?s easy to clean up here.

Hot and cold water tap, just as much as you like?.?. She is shocked by the

full-length mirror reflecting her nudity and insists that she covers it up with

a towel. ?I?m a good girl I am, I won?t pick up no free and easy ways? (part 3) She has changed so dramatically that the eynesford

hills do not recognize her from the beginning of the play. ??????????? Her

appearance at the Embassy is a great success. She managed to lead people into

believing that she is a princess. She has learned to speak English so perfectly

that Nepommuck, an expert in phonetics and foreign languages thinks that she is

a Hungarian princess. ?Can you show me an English woman that speaks English as

it should be spoken? Only foreigners who have been taught to speak it speak it

well?. ??????????? Shaw

prepares us for Eliza?s reaction to the conversation between Pickering and

Higgins ?Let?s get out of this, I?ve had enough of chatting to these fools? In

the stage directions Eliza is obviously hurt and distraught. Act 4 again

takes place in Wimpole Street. Shaw uses this scene to show that even though

her outward appearance has changed, her personality has not. She is still

strong willed and prepared to defend herself; she shows pride. However she is

still venerable and is concerned about her future. She realizes that being

educated to be a lady does not fit her to earn a living. At this point she is

insecure and is in need for affection and is prepared eventually to accept

Freddie?s proposal. She asserts her independence by leaving Wimpole Street.

Eliza?s body language is important when she responds to Higgins comments. She

flinches violently; but they take no notice of her; and she recovers herself

and sits stonily as before. Higgins is unaware of Eliza?s mounting anger. In

this scene she dares to face Higgins.?

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