The Play Pygmalion By George Bernard Shaw Essay

The Play Pygmalion By George Bernard Shaw Essay

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People are always in the pursuit of erasing their flaws and becoming what society would say is "perfect." In the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw the main character Eliza Doolittle was not content with her life and her lamentable speech and manners. In order to become what she considered "perfect" Eliza relied on Higgins to change her into a proper and sophisticated woman. Higgins pounded lessons of proper speech and how to conduct one 's self with eloquence into Eliza 's head minute after minute and day after day. Although Eliza was being transformed externally, as she continued to grow from her lessons, she also began to transform internally and realize that she deserved respect, whether she was a kerbstone flower girl or a duchess. Liza was realizing that respect should be given in order to be received and no person should let someone demean who they are.
In Act IV and V of Pygmalion Shaw uses narrative and stage direction in order to show Liza 's opposition to the social hierarchy emphasizing her evolution into an intellectual and confident being. The play is set in the early twentieth century in London. This time in period was referred to as the Victorian era. During this era women had not gained the basic rights and privileges given to man. Women were looked at as housewives, their main role being to act properly, marry, and tend to the house and bear children. Although Higgins felt he knew what was best for Liza and how she should behave and act, he treated her as if she was inferior to him. Liza, now wiser and more confident in herself, began to feel as if she was being treated unjust and showed she was not to back down and she was to stand up for herself. This is best depicted through the body language and actions r...


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...pecially as a female in the Victorian era.
Liza’s transformation is considered central to the plot and theme of Pygmalion because it shows how becoming confident in who you are gives a person a sense of self worth. Through the use of stage direction, narration, eristic dialogue, and dramatic plot the author Shaw beautifully shows Eliza’s transition into an independent woman. It is exemplified through these techniques that Liza’s new walk and talk have given her confidence in her voice. Liza came to realization that she was and is an inspiration to women who have the same dreams that she accomplished. Liza was the catalyst for women gaining a voice. Women would begin to be looked at as more than just a housewife who is treated lesser than man but a person equal to man. The main lesson that women learn from Liza’s transformation and newfound independence is respect.

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