Pygmalion: George Bernard Shaw and Play

1459 Words Jan 23rd, 2011 6 Pages
George Bernard show

Pygmalion as a problem play

Problem play: defined and explained

A problem play is a play in which a number of problems are presented and analyzed thoroughly but no solutions to those problems are provided by the dramatist. Such a play serves as a great irritant to the thought. It is though provoking. the readers are provoked to think over the problem presented in the play and work out their own solutions to those problems. Pygmalion is a problem play in this sense. A number of problems have been presented and discussed; the discussion is thought – provoking; the readers are expected to think for themselves, and work out their own solutions.
Problems created by education
The most important problem
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But they are both “confirmed old bachelors “. Higgins is a victim of Oedipus complex or mother – fixation, and takes no human interest in Eliza. This would have been a proper solution to the problem of Eliza, but this does not happen, and so basically, her problem, as those countless others who face similar predicament remains unsolved. The dramatist has provided no solution, has certainly focused on the problem, and made sit up and think.
The problems of Alfred Doolittle
Another problem presented in the play is the predicament of Alfred Doolittle. He was poor, he was considered “an undeserving poor”, and so nothing was done for him by society. Still he was happy in his poverty. He would form time to time get money by “touching” others, i.e. by black – mailing them, and then he would have good time with his mistress. He was quite happy and contented with his life as a poor dustman.
His loss of identity
But then suddenly, as a result of a joke of Professor Higgins, he acquired large wealth and became one of the newly rich. He was raised to the status of the middle class. He could no longer be a happy dust man. It became imperative for him to conform to the middle class morality and social code. He had lost his former identity. He was a alienated from his former class and the kind of life he lived as a poor dust man, and he must now acquire a new identity and a new sense of belonging to a higher class.
His quest for belongingness
He poignantly
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