Comparative Survey, Descriptive Research

  Comparative survey research is a type of descriptive survey where it aims to compare the status of two or more variable, institutions, strategies etc. This technique often uses multiple disciplines in one study.This does not only compare different groups but also same group over time.Few points are to be kept in mind before starting the comparative survey. ·        Comparison Points -The research should be very clear regarding the points to be compared. This can also be identified through review of literature and experience of experts. ·        Assumption of Similarities -  One has to be clear about the similarities the two variable hold. If the researcher do not find this there is no point of comparison. Criteria of Comparison - The researcher has to identify the criteria of comparison keeping in mind the fairness and objectivity. Appropriate tools has to be identified for measurement of criterion variables. Comparative survey research is carried on when the researcher cannot

Character Sketch of Henry Higgins

Character Sketch of Eliza Doolittle
Pygmalion as a Problem Play

Henry Higgins is the central character of the play Pygmalion by G.B.Shaw. He is infact Shaw’s Pygmalion. But unlike the Pygmalion of legend he does not make statues, he is a Professor of Phonetics. Not a worshiper of physical beauty and looks; rather he enlightens the mind of his pupils. Phonetics is his first love, his ruling passion. He finds people interesting chiefly because he can note down their dialects. That is the main reason why he lets Alfred Doolittle come to his house. When he thinks about Eliza he only thinks about her vowels and consonants. He undertakes the task of transforming her into a duchess within six months not because he was interested in her; rather it was a challenge to his knowledge and teaching methods. This shows his positivism and challenging nature.

Wit and humour are natural to Higgins. Interesting words and phrases are always at his command. He calls Eliza deliciously low. Further, when Mrs. Pearce reminds him of using the word ‘bloody’ several times in the morning, while referring to boots, butter and brown bread, he quickly retorts,

mere alliteration Mrs. Pearce, natural to a poet.

A.C.Ward genuinely points out, Higgins is a social rebel. He hates the shallow politeness of smart society and will not practice its shallow hypocrisies. The result is, he appears to be rude and impolite. We find Higgins’s mother telling Eliza that Higgins do not behave properly in the Church. He makes loud remarks on the Clergyman’s pronunciation, while the service is going on.

Mrs. Pearce finds Higgins to be an overbearing bossing kind of person. He has no control over his temper, his words and manners. When Mrs. Pearce suggests him to not swear before Eliza, he says,

I swear, I never swear. What the devil do you mean?

He escapes not a single moment to bully Eliza and calls her guttersnipe and squashed cabbage leaf of Convent Garden. He is an anti-sentimental hero and a jealous person. Higgins is cold and devoid of emotions. He leads life only at the intellectual level. We find him heartless in dealing with Eliza. He suggests her to marry Pickering whom she regards as a father. He knows that Eliza loves Freddy, yet he tells her again and again that Freddy is characterless and is an absolute fool.

Higgins is a confirmed bachelor who resists the erotic incursion of any woman in his life. He tells Pickering,

Women upset everything. When you let them into your life you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you are driving at another.

The clue to Higgins’s bachelorhood lies in his mother-fixation, which comes close to Oedipus complex. This prevents him from getting erotically involved with any young woman and thus accounts for his lack of interest in Eliza.

His girl students are like blocks of wood to him. He trains Eliza not because he was interested in her; rather he wants to experiment whether an uneducated cockney can learn correct language and manners. As soon as the experiment is successful he drops her, but still he wants Eliza to come back to him not because of any love and respect for her, but her presence in his house provides him help and mental dependence. This depicts his self-centerdness and egoism.

Though we find atrocious manner in Higgins, there is no denying the fact that he had a charming personality. Eliza is so charmed by her association with Higgins that at one point in a play we find she does not want to live with someone else. But if Higgins is charming, he is also a tyrannical bully; if he is devastatingly intelligent, he is also ignorantly insensitive to the feelings of others; if he is God-like in his achievements, he is childishly petulant in his wanting his own way; if he believes in his scientific methodology, he is also something of the intuitive poet; and if he is a man so confident of his aim in life, he is also a man so ignorant of his personality that he really thinks himself timid, modest and diffident. However, these qualities do not come in the way of his phonetic experiment.


  1. Nicely written notes on Character Sketch of Henry Higgins.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Justify the Title ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad

Character Sketch of KURTZ in Heart Of Darkness

Bring out the Autobiographical Elements in Sons and Lovers

Short Note on RASA and DHVANI

Justification of the Title LOOK BACK IN ANGER