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Class Distinction In Pygmalion Essay

866 words - 3 pages

The play Pygmalion offers the readers a view on the theme of class distinction, and the problem of the barriers separating classes and people. Shaw reveals to us the truth about the artificiality of classes and how anybody can overcome them, He also shows us that society puts up high standards and that people are distinguished by their way of speaking, and their appearance alone and of course that's wrong.

In the first act of Pygmalion, Shaw chooses a setting that really helped shedding light on this theme, for he chose the st. portico square between the church and the theatre, a setting that embraced everybody from different classes and made them all clash under one place for shelter. The gathering of all those different characters, and the way Shaw introduced everybody not by their real names, but by other names, show us that society puts artificial barriers for the differentiation between the rich and the poor. But as the play progresses each character's point of view about the classes is presented in different situations.

Henry Higgins the phonetician sees the difference between the rich and the poor through their outside appearance, how they talk, walk, dress and eat. Professor Higgins sees that the barriers between classes could be over come in six months, and that changing somebody's looks and their way of pronouncing words means upgrading them to a higher social class, but in spite of this, he treats people equally, and his behavior is absolute rudeness to all.

Professor Higgins' rudeness is an embarrassment to his mother Mrs. Higgins, who knows how to treat everybody with respect, and who isn?t fooled by Eliza's good looks and ways of talking. Mrs. Higgins can still see Eliza's personality and she tells Higgins that no matter how hard he tries to make her a lady he never can do it. Mrs. Higgins thinks of the experiment that her son and Pickering are doing with Eliza as child's play, she tells the professor not to be happy for her didn?t succeed in passing Eliza as a duchess he only made her look better. Mrs. Higgins sees classes as something people acquire through their life, and they are taught as children how to behave...

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