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In Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw brings all his dramatic talents to bear on the question of class in British society. Discuss.

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Introduction

In Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw brings all his dramatic talents to bear on the question of class in British society. Discuss. 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 has the widest range of classes and would make it easier for him to show how false the class system really is. There is the queen who is considered to be of the highest class and people living on the streets who are considered to be of the lowest class. Shaw uses Pygmalion to show how false the class system is and how it is based on superficial ideas. ...read more.

Middle

"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 objects. When Shaw says they are "too handsome to be hidden" I think he is trying to tell us that this is what is important to Mrs Higgins and the upper class alike. He is telling us that they don't concentrate on what is important in life, and that the upper class are considered to above everyone else yet the lower class are better people. He shows how the lower class is more grateful for what they have and how the upper class take what they have for granted. "Did you tell him I come in a taxi?" ...read more.

Conclusion

"I find the new small talk delightful and quite innocent." Shaw uses the Eynsford Hills to show how the class system is based on superficial ideas. He shows that the people who believe in the class system are false and how they are willing to change who they are so they can be accepted by others. Shaw shows how people are judged when we first meet Doolittle. "He'll make bad use of it I'm afraid!" because of his poverty-stricken appearance, Pickering assumes that Doolittle will waste the money. Shaw also uses Doolittle to show that happiness can't be bought with money, when we first meet Doolittle he is happy but when he comes into money he doesn't like his new lifestyle and isn't happy with his new found finances. Shaw successfully criticises the British class system through Pygmalion. He shows how people can't be fitted into categorise as he makes many of the characters exceed the boundaries that they have been confined within. Through Pygmalion he picks up on the class system's many flaws and how easily it can be proved wrong. Pygmalion is successful in getting the message across about the class system and how it is based on superficial ideas. 5 1 Draft 2 Gemma Davis ...read more.

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