Social Classes in George Bernard Shaw’s "Pygmalion" and the Movie "My Fair Lady"

571 Words 3 Pages
George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, is a humorous, yet moral, play that portrays the active social classes and lifestyles in Britain. The play features the main character Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who embarks on the formidable task of teaching a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, how to speak English properly, and then passing her off as a duchess at the royal ball. Pygmalion was later adapted into the film, My Fair Lady in 1964, and although there are many differences between the two, the play delivers Shaw’s central message of social criticism, which is not to interfere within other social classes and not to meddle in society, more effectively than the movie. There are many distinctions between Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, which …show more content…
In contrast to this, the play however, accurately portrays Shaw’s message because Eliza does not return to Higgins because he had angered her. Also, if Higgins had never bet with Pickering, then the two gentleman probably would not have tried to advance her from the lower class to the upper class, and as a result of this, Eliza would not have been angry with either of them. Furthermore, since Higgins had made Eliza part of the upper class, she was now left to do nothing because women of the upper class didn’t hold jobs, they were mostly “arm candy”. If he had refrained form experimenting, then she would have been fine selling flowers and could have opened her own florist shop. As a result of the movie altering this scene, the central message has been dramatically changed. Another example of how the play delivers Shaw’s central message in the play is because, My Fair Lady is not of social concern the way that Pygmalion is. Instead it ascertains to the topic that one can achieve great things, such as increase in wealth, social status, and basically anything if one exacerbates the correct amount of effort. This plot twist differs greatly from that of Pygmalion in many ways, one way is because if there is no social concern, then the Shaw’s message will not apply at all. Furthermore, since Shaw’s message does not apply, then the movie weakens the central message
Open Document