Does Eliza Become a Lady in In George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’

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George Bernard Shaw who was born in Dublin in 1856, was a renowned play writer and a talented platform speaker. He is most famously known for his successful play ‘Pygmalion’ which was widely accepted as one of the most noted comedies of the time. It was written two years before the 1st world war, at a time when society was divided and the poor were severely disadvantaged whilst the rich were idle and blindly living their life, unconcerned about the affairs of others.

At the time, Britain had thriving economy and it was a successful country because of its industry, trade and empire. The poor lived without basic facilities such as electricity and water.
George Bernard Shaw was a firm believer of equal rights for women, he took part in
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Shaw developed Eliza as an independent individual who can confidently express herself, unlike many other women at the time who were deemed as having a very low position in society and were seen as worthless beings. To reflect this thinking, Shaw quoted “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”1 This is the reason why Shaw was always creating new ideas, developing them into popular plays and he demonstrates how Eliza has moved on from being a flower girl to a duchess.
Shaw also became a member of the fabian society, which was a middle-class socialist group that felt capitalism had created an unjust society. Its members aimed at transforming English government and society gradually and did not promote revolution. It encouraged the need for better education to help unite everyone and break down class barriers. 2
Shaw strove to change the English alphabet system, he felt that there was a need to create a universal alphabet which would make communication much more easier. As well as this, he thought that the English alphabet system, the one we still use today, is complex and difficult to understand. Shaw wanted to reform English spelling so that it was more logical. He asked the following question as an example:
How do we pronounce the word "ghoti"?
His answer was "fish".
How can "ghoti" and "fish" sound the same?
• the gh = f as in rouGH
• the o = i as in wOmen
• the ti = sh as in nation 3
He also believed…