Essay on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion

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George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion

G.B Shaw believed that people should not be limited by their birth, environment or speech. With reference to Act 1 & Act five of
Pygmalion, show how Eliza finds her status affected by all of these factors. At the time George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion in 1912, many people were troubled with accents that prevented them from reaching high & in act 1, Eliza's character is an example of this.

In act 1, we see how Eliza was very limited by her environment, her job, & her speech by the way that she was treated differently for who she was.

The society at the time Pygmalion was written was very set & if you were born into a lower class family, you were not seen as anything better than that.
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He wanted to make people think whilst sitting in the audience & wanted to put across what he thought were the bad things going on in the world & the problems with the structured society so it was a good idea for him to write certain characters that treated people badly because they were less different to themselves.

Shaw also believed that everyone abused the English language & pronounced words incorrectly. He tried very hard to change the spelling system of the English language & so it was quite decided that he should write one of the main characters as an expert of phonetics, which was the study of the sound of language.

In act 1, Eliza thought that the way she came across was normal & acceptable but to many people it wasn't. Part of Shaw's' plot of the play was to make people realise that anyone can speak properly if they took the time & effort to try & it can affect people in different ways. Eliza is insulted by Higgins & feels threatened & intimidated by him. 'You ought to be stuffed with nails you ought'. Eliza doesn't feel that she has done anything wrong & is just getting on with her life. In this act, people who are wealthier than her judge her because of her birth & the fact she is lower class.

She compares Pickering to Higgins & sees Pickering as the way that gentlemen should be with women. In the first act she likes Freddy & tries to make herself look like a proper lady by ordering a taxi.
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