Examples Of Class Women In Pygmalion

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George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’, first performed in the 1910s, is a reworking of a Greek myth in which a sculptor falls in love with his own creation. A revision of the original tale, the play reflects Shaw’s socialist and feminist views, highlighting the marginalisation, exclusion, and silencing of working class women that was present within society at the time.

In Act 1, the interactions between the middle class and Eliza are used to highlight the marginalization and silencing faced by the working class within English society in the 1910s. When we are first introduced to the Flower Girl, where she bumps into Freddy and spills her flowers, she asks the middle class women present “Will ye-oo py me f’them?”. The fact that Eliza asks the women for money despite this being their first interaction implies that she cannot afford to follow any of the unspoken
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In act one, the flower girl is shown to sit “down on the plinth of the column, sorting her flowers, on the lady’s right”. In contrast, the daughter and the mother are both shown to be standing “in the space between the central pillars”. The juxtaposition in levels between Eliza and the two middle class ladies emphasises the exclusion and marginalization of working class women, highlighting the fact that the working class and the middle class are not considered equal. This can be seen again after the rain stops and most of the characters leave the stage - the flower girl “sits arranging her basket” alongside the note taker and the gentleman, who have remained standing throughout the scene. Despite being the three central characters within ‘Pygmalion’, an obvious difference between the two middle class men and Eliza is shown through their different levels. Shaw’s use of proxemics within this scene reinforces the marginalization and exclusion of the working class that is present throughout the
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