Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw Essay

Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw Essay

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As a young girl with the name of Eliza gazes out beyond the boundaries of her beautiful flower garden, she spots a magnificently dressed woman. The woman, draped in fine jewelry and a lavish evening gown was very beautiful and incredibly well off. The young girl Eliza thought to herself about what made her so different from the woman, and why she could not ever aspire to be as prosperous as this duchess. The reasoning for this difference in power is not one of personal or physical attributes, but rather one that deals completely with the time period of this age. During the nineteenth century, social classes dominated in England; it was a constant struggle for women to gain authority in these classes; Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw helps to demonstrate as well as rebuke this idea of inherited Social Classes (Trussler 980)
The nineteenth century in England was that of a new age, the age of industrial revolution. During this time, advancement in technology and production of goods was a primary reason for expansion. New inventions such as TNT, the carpet sweeper and the first successful typewriter all helped to contribute to the leaps and bounds Britain took forward during this time(Lambert). The telephone was invented in 1876, and along with the typewriter, created more jobs for women (Lambert). In addition, the invention of the railway also helped Britain to grow and expand. According to Trussler (302), “With the railway boom of the 1850’s, most parts of the country could be reached much more easily.” This was a very important part of the industrial revolution because not only could people move from place to place, exports and trade also increased as a result. Almost instantly, towns and cities began to appear and grow in si...


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... improve oneself, and he did not believe that people were born into social classes, rather people have the ability within themselves to determine what class they belong to (Buisel). Buisel states that Shaw’s play Pygmalion established Shaw as England’s leading playwright. Pygmalion, summarized previously in this paragraph, exhibits Shaw’s theme of nature over nurture (Bonham 983).
Pygmalion was a very representative play of the time period, Shaw was well known for bringing up problematic or conflict filled topics and revealing them for all the people to see. As elucidated before in this paper, Pygmalion is very representative because it deals with the issue of both social classes and women’s rights during the industrial revolution. His idea of nurture over nature is definitely revealed in this play, and little Eliza Doolittle is the prime example of his theory.

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