George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion Essay examples

George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion Essay examples

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George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion

G.B Shaw believed that people should not be limited by their birth,
environment or speech. With reference to Act 1 & Act five of
Pygmalion, show how Eliza finds her status affected by all of these
factors.

At the time George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion in 1912, many people
were troubled with accents that prevented them from reaching high & in
act 1, Eliza's character is an example of this.

In act 1, we see how Eliza was very limited by her environment, her
job, & her speech by the way that she was treated differently for who
she was.

The society at the time Pygmalion was written was very set & if you
were born into a lower class family, you were not seen as anything
better than that. Eliza was a lower class flower girl whose speech was
not Standard English & difficult to understand. She came from the slum
streets of London & was as clean as she could afford to be but to the
upper class people she was 'worthless' & 'dirty'.

Higgins was an upper class man who studied phonetics. He was written
as someone who believed in the class system & that he should not
associate with the likes of 'Eliza' who was 'just a flower girl' & a
'disgrace to the English language'. The play does reflect the society
at the time & Shaw incorporated the way people treated other people
into the play quite effectively.

The Aynsford-Hills were a middle class family but whose status was
slowly sliding down. In act 1, 'the daughter' has Higgins's view of
lower class people & doesn't treat Eliza nicely just because she is a
flower girl.

Shaw wanted to include his thoughts on society, language & drama into
Pygmalion. He thought society was unfair & that 'no one should be
limited by his or h...


... middle of paper ...


...closed on her, & she could never go back to who she was
originally no matter how much she wanted to because she is seen as
upper class so to be back selling flowers on the street would not be
in her character anymore.

I think she feels she is better off because she has a lot of knowledge
from Higgins, more independence & the upper class status. At the end,
just because of the way she spoke & the clothes she wore, she was
automatically seen as upper class. She was not born into a wealthy
family. She started off as a common flower girl & ended up as an upper
class duchess but technically all that happened to her was that she
was taught how to be a lady. So this proves that throughout the play
Eliza's status was affected by her birth, environment & speech in a
way that it completely changed the way she was judged by other people
in the space of six months.

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