Hypocritical Christianity Exposed In Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara

624 words - 2 pages

Hypocritical Christianity Exposed in Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara

Bernard Shaw reveals in his plays a type of religious standard that is not unlike Christianity but with what most people see as a stereotypical view of hypocritical Christianity. Shaw's concept of Crosstianity , as he calls it, shows a religion in which the church preaches what the rich and powerful tell it, scoundrels are treated as equals, and punishment is concerned with prosecution rather than salvation. "Poetic justice" rules judicial retribution rather than redemption. Everyone is inherently the same.

The scene in Major Barbara in which Bill Walker is dealt with for his attack on the shelter is revealing about the concepts of Crosstianity. Walker expects that he should be punished equally to his crime and even desires this to relieve his guilt. If Barbara had allowed him to pay for his abuse of Jenny and the old woman monetarily or physically, that would have been Crosstianity. He would have released his guilt and gone on his way without any real change in his moral character. However, Barbara does not allow that. She adopts the role of Christ in order to change him. Faced with his "unbearable moral inferiority," Walker's conscience punishes him more than the traditional means would. The methods of Crosstianity would have taught a lesson to others about the merits of committing a crime, instead of the culprit himself.

Shaw's view of Crosstianity allows that every person has the capacity for good or evil. Still, it also admits that a wealthy "scoundrel" is seen more highly to the public than a poor one. A man with a bullying nature may be praised if he is a lawyer but would be ostracized if he is homeless. This idea extends itself to the belief that all people are inherently the same, which is not a far cry from Christianity's "all men are children of one father." Also,...

Find Another Essay On Hypocritical Christianity Exposed in Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara

What does the juxtaposition of act 4 with 3 in Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion highlight about change?

839 words - 3 pages In the Oxford dictionary, the definition of change takes on a few meanings. Among these, change is stated as meaning, 'To go from one phase to another' or 'To undergo transformation or transition'. At the end of act IV, the audience is aware of two changes in Eliza's character. Firstly, that she has had enough of being a 'lady' and will defy Higgins for his selfish motives, and secondly, that she can think for herself as an independent woman. As

Injustice Towards Immigrants Exposed in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

1373 words - 5 pages struggle of being undocumented immigrants in the United States. Along the way, she will learn about Estevan and Esperanza’s heart-breaking background stories as well. These characters will journey on through life despite the hardships of immigration. The book shows the struggle that they should not have to put up with. Barbara Kingsolver, the author of The Bean Trees, illustrates an immigrant’s point of view by applying literary elements, which

The Life and Career of George Bernard Shaw

1009 words - 4 pages London to be with his mother. Bernard wrote five fictitious novels in the next decade. Only two were published; none were successful. This was his first attempt at writing fiction (Weintraub 655). In 1879, Shaw took a job at the Edison Telephone Company. He kept it only for a few months. It was his last job that involved no writing (Weintraub 655). Shaw's writing career was jump-started not only by his career as a drama critic, but as

Geroge Bernard Shaw

1657 words - 7 pages Many British authors have come and gone; of them many have gone unnoticed and there were once that were very popular and went noticed. There were certain once that made dramatic changes to literature. George Bernard Shaw was one of the people who went noticed. Some of the plays that he wrote were, Major Barbara, Heartbreak House, Saint Joan, and Too True to Be Good and also Pygmalion. Even though he had a rough childhood and he had some problems

what is fabianism

7564 words - 30 pages Granville Barker in the role of Marchbanks) and such new efforts as Major Barbara and The Doctor's Dilemma - were produced over the next three years. Shaw's reputation as a major new dramatist was finally secured, and given added luster by the 1914 commercial success of Pygmalion (which later inspired the musical My Fair Lady). Shaw maintained his international celebrity for the rest of his long life - though his popularity in England plummeted for a

The Religion of Money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby -

866 words - 3 pages The Religion of Money in The Great Gatsby       Near the beginning of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, Mr. Undershaft exclaims in retort of another's question, "well, I am a millionaire, and that is my religion" (Shaw 103). Many people look toward the heavens in search of the power to enable them to live in the world. Others, like Shaw's Mr. Undershaft, look toward more earthly subjects to obtain their power and symbolize their status

How does Shaw appropriate aspects of earlier texts? Cinderella, Pygmalion, Frankenstein?

588 words - 2 pages The myth of "Pygmalion" and several other texts, including "Cinderella" and "Frankenstein" have been appropriated into different contexts in many forms of media including theatrical productions and films. Appropriations, such as the play, "Pygmalion", by George Bernard Shaw, Cinderella and Frankenstein has taken the context from the myths and transformed into the reflection of the society in the time of which they were composed.Pygmalion was, in

The life and works of Jessie Shirley Bernard (1903-1996).

4214 words - 17 pages class lectures (Bernard, 1989, 325). As a 2nd generation immigrant during a time when immigration was a major concern to white Americans, Bernard, although a United States citizen, felt torn and confused about her place in society. Occasionally mocked for her Romanian and Jewish background, Bernard understood for the first time the situation of the two black families in her town. Further, Bernard was exposed to her older sister's radical socialist


733 words - 3 pages Pygmalion was, in Greek legend, the King of Cyprus who fell in love with a beautiful ivory statue, Galatea. The more he looks upon her, the more deeply he falls in love with her, until he wishes that she were more than a statue. Taking pity on him the goddess Aphrodite blew life into the statue and made it come alive as a beautiful woman. The Pygmalion story written by George Bernard Shaw derives from the famous myth by Ovid's Metamorphoses, in

An Analysis of Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw

1666 words - 7 pages An Analysis of Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw *No Works Cited Saint Joan is considered to be one of George Bernard Shaw's greatest works. The play deals with subject matter pertaining to events after the Death of Joan of Arc. In the play, Shaw avoids many problems identified by critics as prevalent in some of his other writing. Some have criticized Shaw, claiming that he tends to portray unrealistic

The Individual vs. Society in Mrs. Warren's Profession

1554 words - 6 pages Often in life there is a conflict between what is good for the individual and the moral values placed upon the individual by society.  This is true of the characters in George Bernard Shaw's play Mrs. Warren's Profession.  Shaw clearly demonstrates that actions frowned upon by society are not necessarily evil so long as they benefit the individual.      Perhaps the most obvious example of societal morals conflicting with individual need is

Similar Essays

Idealism And Realism In Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara

1350 words - 5 pages Idealism and Realism in Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara Submerged in their own ideas about idealism and realism, Barbara and her father Undershaft are at odds with one another in Major Barbara. In this Bernard Shaw play, minor characters are important in exemplifying these conflicting values. The moral perplexities of capitalism and charity are explored through the words and actions of Undershaft’s family, his future sons-in-law

Comparing Characters In Major Barbara And Pygmalion

638 words - 3 pages Comparing Characters in Major Barbara and Pygmalion      Andrew Undershaft and Alfred Doolittle, two characters from Bernard Shaw's plays Major Barbara and Pygmalion, have a similar nature but strikingly different views of morality and poverty. Undershaft is an "unashamed" capitalist, and nothing clouds his view of his business plans. Doolittle is a man who would much rather have a life of poverty than be troubled with the responsibility

Contradictions Of Character In George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion

973 words - 4 pages ; He is in the business of teaching proper manners, although lacks them himself.  In addition, Higgins is an intelligent man, and yet he is ignorant of the feelings of those around him.  Another apparent contradiction is that Higgins’ outer charm serves to hide his bullying nature. He manipulates Eliza and others around him to serve his own purposes, without any regard for her feelings.        &nbsp

Cremation As A Theme In On Of George Bernard Shaw's Books

699 words - 3 pages for the cremation, the interior chamber "looked cool, clean, and sunny" as by agraveside, and the coffin was presented "feet first" as in a ground burial. In selectingaspects of a traditional burial service, Shaw's mood is revealed as ambivalent towardcremation by imposing recalled fragments of ground burial for contrast. Strangelyfascinated, he begins to wonder exactly what happens when one is cremated. This moodof awe is dramatized as he