Act 4 Notes from Pygmalion

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Pygmalion Act 4

Pickering and Higgins sit in Higgins laboratory around midnight after returning from the party. Eliza enters and sits down, brooding and silent. The two men are slightly drunk. Higgins can't find his slippers and Eliza brings them to him without a word. He does not notice her action, but is pleasantly surprised by the appearance of the slippers. Pickering congratulates Higgins on winning the bet, and Higgins thanks God it is over. Eliza flinches. He continues to complain about the foolishness of the party and the whole process of training Eliza. "It was a silly notion: the whole thing has been a bore." Act 4, pg. 98 Pickering congratulates him again and goes to bed. Higgins follows him but returns for his slippers. Eliza has become furious and hurls his slippers at him. Higgins is shocked. She accuses him of wanting to get rid of her and not caring if she were dead. He calmly gets her to admit that she has nothing to complain about regarding her treatment and concludes that the stress of the event has gotten to her. She seems to calm down, but then her desperation returns. She demands to know what she is to do with herself. He expresses no concern and suggests that she get married or open a florist's shop. She is not soothed, and asks what she can take with her when she leaves. He hasn't given her departure a thought. She demands to know, so that she will not be accused of stealing. He is flustered and tells her she can take everything but the rented jewels she is wearing. He turns to leave, but she stops him and forces him to take the jewels immediately as well as a ring he had bought for her previously. He is insulted and looses his temper. Eliza relishes this moment.

"Higgins: [formally] Damn Mrs. Pearce; and damn the coffee; and damn you; and [wildly] damn my own folly in having lavished my hard-earned knowledge and the treasure of my regard and intimacy on a heartless guttersnipe. [ He goes out with impressive decorum, and spoils it by slamming the door savagely.]" Act 4, pg. 105

Eliza picks up the ring off the floor, but after some consideration flings it on the dessert tray. She goes to her room, puts on her walking dress and leaves the house.

Topic Tracking: Manners 7
Topic Tracking: Feminine Power 5

She finds Freddy outside. He has been pining for her there. They embrace in mutual need and he lavishes kisses upon her. However, a constable interrupts them. Freddy tells him they have just become engaged, and they run away. "The constable shakes his head, reflecting on his own courtship and on the vanity of human hopes." Act 4, pg. 106 After they escape, Eliza confesses to Freddy that she was going to throw herself into the river. He consoles her with another embrace, but they are again stopped by a constable. Eliza suggests they get a taxi and drive about until morning, when she intends to visit Mrs. Higgins to ask for her advice. Freddy agrees heartily.

Topic Tracking: Feminine Power 6

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