My favourite literary character is Eliza Doolittle. Eliza is one of the principal characters of “Pygmalion”, Bernard Shaw’s famous comedy. Eliza, a girl of eighteen, comes from the lowest social level and speaks with a strong Cockney accent. She makes her own living by selling flowers in the streets of London.
One day she accidentally meets Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics. Higgins makes an agreement with his friend Pickering that he will pass Eliza off as a duchess in six months. Eliza and Higgins work hard at the girl’s manners and pronunciation. Finally, before six months are over, she is well prepared to be introduced into society. Higgins and Pickering take her to the races, a dinner party, and the Queen’s dancing party.
Everything goes well and Higgins wins his bet. But what is to become of Eliza now when the game is over? She cannot go back to selling flowers in the street.
She has acquired some culture, and she wants to do useful work. She wants independence and her share of respect. I admire Eliza’s quick wit and sense of humour, her moral strength and integrity.
The character of Eliza shows how much force and talent lies undeveloped in common people.