Essay Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

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Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw's father, George Carr Shaw, was an alcoholic which meant not much money was spent on Shaw's education, therefore he was mainly self-taught, since he was self-taught he never had ideas forced upon him, this caused him to turn into a strong minded individual who expressed his opinions. He was a socialist and a critic who believed strongly in equality. Shaw wrote many plays, which expressed his opinions, one of the most famous being Pygmalion. Shaw uses Pygmalion to show the superficial basis of the class system.

Pygmalion is set in London, in the early 1900's when the distinction between classes was more defined. I believe Shaw choose to set the play in London because it
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At the beginning of Pygmalion Shaw uses the dramatic device of labelling the characters instead of giving their names. "The flower girl", "the gentleman" "the note taker", by doing this Shaw shows us how quickly we judge people by what they do and what they look like and not on what they are. Further on in the play the labelling of the characters changes, "the flower girl" changes to "Liza", "the gentleman" to "Pickering" and "the note taker" to "Higgins" by using first names and surnames we can see where the characters have been placed with in the class system.

Using detailed stage directions Shaw shows how materialistic things seem to matter more to the upper-class and how they take them for granted and how the lower class treasure what they have. "These are the only visible luxuries"" Shaw shows how Eliza has to live off necessities and how she can't afford many luxuries and how she treasure what she has. He shows us the position she is in and the lifestyle she lives is purely because of the class boundaries others have placed her in. Shaw shows us Eliza is a better person than Mrs
Higgins is, because she care about what is important in life. "All the ornaments, and are much too handsome to be hidden" This shows us that
Mrs Higgins' flat is full of materialistic

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