Higgins Has ADD

         When analyzing the personality, the mental coherence, and the intelligent structure in the character Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard), in the Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard's (1913) film, Pygmalion, based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, one can conclude that he is a genius of his own form who may also have adult attention deficit disorder (ADD). People, such as Higgins, who have ADD have certain traits in their actions, ways of thinking, and socialization with the world around them. These traits are Paying Attention, Obsessive over details in their interest, Forgetfulness, and Cluttery Organization.

         People with ADD usually obsess over the things that they are interested in and become extreme perfectionists in the things that they do with their interest to the point that they will not finish work until it is perfect. People with ADD also do not pay attention nor involve effort in the things that they do not show interest in but not intentionally though. In the film Pygmalion, Higgins shows these traits through his obsession over his work of identifying spoken language and the excessive forgetting where he put his slippers. His obsessive trait goes as far to the point that he can write in a dead language, Sanscrit, as if were his own modern language. Another part in the film that shows this trait of obsessivness, is evinced Higgins impulsively decides that he does not want continue with the job of recreating Eliza (Wendy Hiller) to become a lady if she is not perfect in every form. He obviously does finish the job but because Colonel Pickering (Scott Sunderland) and the idea of proving his social theory makes change his mind. The forgetfulness trait in film is a minute part of the film, but it is there, and it continually shows that he cannot find his slippers or other things of importance throughout the film, and Eliza must find them for him. These are some of the things that can clearly show that Higgins is ADD but they are not the only things.

         The other two traits that reinforce the possibility that Higgins has ADD are Cluttery Organization and the main big trait, Paying Attention. People that are ADD show these traits through having much of their work or items in piles and laid about, looking disorganized and not paying attention or involving themselves in the things that they do not have any interest in but not intentionally because the rapid movement of over 500,000 thoughts go through their head at the same time, almost like watching TV but with the channel changing rapidly without control. In Pygmalion this is shown many times throughout the film. Some of Higgins' behaviors that show these traits are evident as when he had the lack of attention in his mother's house. He does not really pay attention to what his mother (Marie Lohr) says about not coming over or acting improperly in front of her social friends. He pretty much ignores what her social friends, average thinking people have to say because basically he has no obsessive interest in what they have to say or do. When such a thing happens a person's multiple thoughts kick in to distract them. The other things that showed his Cluttery Trait are the way his work was placed about around in his house and office. Both of these traits confirm more that he has ADD.

         All the traits of Attention Deficit Disorder were apparent with Higgins' actions and personality. He comes across as rude, scattered, or weird, but with a logical reasoning behind it all. When observing people, such as Higgins or meeting them for the first time, one should never judge them because the way they come across. Also one may never know you just might have a genius on hand like Higgins a prime prospect with the tediously of having a slight disorder he or she cannot help such as ADD.

Shanah Zigler

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