Themes In George Bernard Shaw

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& # 8217 ; s Pygmalion Essay, Research Paper

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George Bernard Shaw s drama Pygmalion is the narrative of Henry Higgins, a maestro phonetician, and his arch secret plan to go through a common flower miss, Eliza Doolittle, away as a duchess at the Embassy Ball. In order accomplish his end, Higgins must learn Eliza how to talk decently and how to move in upper-class society. The drama pokes merriment at in-between category morality and upper-class shallowness, reflects the societal ailments of 19th century England, and attests that all people are worthy of regard and self-respect.

Pygmalion pokes merriment at in-between category morality through the word picture of Mr. Doolittle, Eliza s father. Mr. Doolittle is a common garbage man, & # 8221 ; an faineant adult male who spends his clip imbibing intoxicant at the local saloon. He is non excessively proud to implore for money, even from Eliza. Furthermore, he lives with a adult female to whom he is non married. When Henry Higgins writes to a politician and refers to him as the best moralist talker in London, Mr. Doolittle is forced into the in-between category, and therefore he must adhere to middle-class morality. This means he is expected go to church, get married his live-in girlfriend, give up intoxicant, chorus from picking up adult females, and give money to his destitute relations.

Eliza is faced with a similar state of affairs. After Higgins introduces her to ticket society, Eliza can non travel back to being a flower miss. Her former familiarities do non acknowledge her anymore. She is suffering and baffled. Shaw maintains that possibly it would be better if Higgins had ne’er introduced Eliza and her male parent to upper category society.

Pygmalion besides pokes merriment at the shallowness of upper category society, a society in which societal position is determined by the local area network

guage that one speaks, one s manners, and the apparels one wears. It is amazing that Higgins is able to go through Eliza off as an blue blood, and Hungarian royalty at that, simply by changing her visual aspect and address. The wealthy are so superficial they can non see past Eliza s visual aspect.

On a deeper degree, Pygmalion addresses the societal ailments in England at the bend of the century. Victorian England was characterized by utmost category division and limited societal mobility. Language separated the nobility from the lower category. In Pygmalion, Eliza s Cockney idiom inhibits her from securing a occupation in a flower store.

Indeed, the drama reflects George Bernard Shaw s socialist positions. Shaw was a great advocator of instruction for the working categories and societal equality. As a member of the Fabian Society, Shaw worked to educate the populace through seminars, schools, treatments, and talks. He believed in evolutionary or democratic socialism & # 8211 ; the thought that wealth should be bit by bit redistributed among all categories through public ownership of industry and concern ( Compton s 95 ) . Shaw s background as a political and societal reformist is reflected in Pygmalion.

Above all, Pygmalion is about the cosmopolitan truth that all people are worthy of regard and self-respect, from the affluent Lord to the mendicant on the street corner. The difference between a common flower miss and a duchess, apart from visual aspect and demeanour, is the manner she is treated. Treat the flower miss as if she were a duchess, worthy of regard and decency, and she will go a better individual as a consequence.

Plants Cited

Shaw, George Bernard. Compton s Concise Encyclopedia. Compton s

NewMedia, Inc. , 1995.

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