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In Pygmalion, Shaw portrays a society in translation, in which progressive notions of femininity clash with more established traditional ideas about gender role.

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In Pygmalion, Shaw portrays a society in translation, in which progressive notions of femininity clash with more established traditional ideas about gender role. In George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, he portrays a society in transition where new ideas about female independence are challenging with established gender stereotype. Shaw was a post imperialist and believed in a world of equality. Through the portrait of the character Eliza Doolittle in the play Pygmalion, Shaw demonstrates a call for independence and his realization that it cannot be achieved in the early 20th century England as the society displays strong traditional gender roles, woman in upper class do not value themselves and have no places in society, and lastly, they cannot be successful alone. ...read more.


This shows that the majority in Victorian society believe a woman's destiny is to get married. In addition, women who are in higher class do not value themselves, and believe that only men have places in the society. Clara goes to meet Higgins with "confident familiarity", and respond "gainly" after Higgins speaks rudely to her. This expression of Clara shows that women in higher class do not have freedoms and choices, the only way to keep places in society is to get connected with men. This also can be proved by Eliza, as she turns into a lady in the end, she realizes that her life isn't turn out to be better. ...read more.


Without Pickering's financial support, Eliza will never able to be success in turning to be a duchess at the party. This idea can also be enhanced as Eliza says "I will go and be a teacher" when she decides to leave Higgins. She is using the language that Higgins taught her to afford her own cost; she cannot to be successful when speaking her own language. To conclude, Bernard Shaw shows a British society in transition, where he hopes equality can be achieved. However, in the Victorian era, progressive notions of femininity crashes with established gender stereotype as Eliza in the end perceives that women in the upper class do not have the independence that woman in the lower class do; they must be connected to a man in some way to be respectable within "middle-class morality". ...read more.

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