In act II, almost all the play's major characters show up, (Mr. Higgins, Mr. Pickering, Eliza, and Mr. Doolittle), and we get to know more about each character through mostly their conversations and the narrative stage direction. Next, I'm going to analyze one interesting character-Higgins by revealing the setting, stage direction, and conversations.
The beginning of act II is the description of Higgins' room. It is supposed to be a relaxing drawing room, but instead of many entertaining decorations, we see much scientific equipment of his profession-phonetics, such as a laryngoscope and tuning-forks. Besides, there are no paintings or art works in the wall. According to the above, we can say that Higgins is so concentrated on phonetics (both his profession and hobby) that he doesn't have time and mind to arrange his leisure life, not mention to appreciate art. Or maybe basically Higgins himself isn't a man who by nature likes to enjoy life in this way. Anyhow, we can be sure that phonetics seems to be the most important thing in his life. Then, the stage direction starts to describe Higgins' dressing, looking, and personality. Combining all the description, an image of a professional-looking, energetic, scientific type, heartily, humorous and funny-tempered bachelor phonetician is vividly presented in front of us. We can also match his emotional baby-like quality with his love for chocolates. I'm more willing to believe that Higgins is actually a "shy," "different," and never feeling grown-up.
In addition, after finishing the "deal-making" part of act II, we'll feel even more strongly about the childlike Higgins (or immature) and his quick-changing temper. At first, he refuses to take Eliza because he's already written down her funny accent. Then, for Pickering's casual bet on possibility of the great change in Eliza, Higgins starts to get interested in this ridiculous "experiment." He even invents a "folly life" theory to support this bet. And when he decides to take both the bet and Eliza, though Pickering and Mrs. Pearce try to reason with him, he changes to use a "professional exquisiteness of modulation" voice to defense himself and convince them. Here, we see a quite selfish and inconsiderate Higgins who uses different tactics-higher position (master), professional status (phonetician), and his wisdom (good talk) to achieve what he wants-to show how great he is in phonetics. At that time, he doesn't give much care about what will happen after he really wins the bet and what about poor Eliza. From this, we find that Higgins is really an impulsive and casual-going (ÀH©Ê) man.
As to the meaningful conversation between Doolittle and Higgins and the later "recommendation," we see the special appreciation standard of Higgins. Since he can appreciate such a different dustman like Doolittle, he himself must also have some unique quality inside or at least he is an open-mined man.
In the last part of this act, we get to see how Higgins 'trains" Eliza to speak accurate English. The methods he uses are mechanical and boring. All he asks Eliza to do is repeating the same word or sentence. His manner towards Eliza isn't like teacher to student but more like master to servant. He is a trainer and Eliza is a "parrot." The unfairness between them is still serious and unchangeable. Higgins' attitude remains self-centered and inconsiderate.
I think Higgins is an attractive character because he has so many either complex or contrast personalities. We undoubtedly get lots of fun and lessons from him. Act II shows us an imperfect and even overbearing but lovable true man.