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Marxist Perspective - Pygmalion

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Jacob Villarreal

on 6 October 2014

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Transcript of Marxist Perspective - Pygmalion

(Google images)
In Act 1 of Pygmalion, we are introduced to three main characters: Professor Higgins, Colonel Pickering, and Eliza Doolittle. On a lonely night, Eliza Doolittle, a flower girl, gets confronted by Professor Higgins, a high class and well educated individual. Higgins begins to attack Eliza by insulting her and saying "You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days" (pg. 8). This scene is ambiguous, it can be interpreted in the sense of those who are poor will remain poor for the rest of their lives. Eliza's social class is what helped dictate how formal her English would be.
Act 1
Act 3
In Act 3 of Pygmalion, Professor Higgins heads to his mother's house to converse about Eliza. Higgins tries to explain the status of Eliza to his mother by saying, "She's a common flower girl. I picked her off the kerbstone." (pg. 35). Mrs. Higgins replies by exclaiming, "And invited her to my at-home!" (pg.35). These two quotes between Higgins and is mother depicts how it is almost impossible for one person from a low social class to become from friends with one of higher social class. Without having met Eliza, Mrs. Higgins already disapproves of meeting with someone of low social status. Eliza is not discriminated by her race, ethnicity, or gender, she is discriminated by her class.
Act 4
(George Bernard Shaw)
Act 2
In Act 2, Eliza invites herself over to Higgins' house to meet up with the Professor and Colonel Pickering. Eliza wishes to improve her English, but because of Eliza's job of selling flowers, she does not have sufficient money to pay for English lessons. Professor Higgins rudely exclaims "when Ive done with her, we can throw her back into the gutter; and then it will be her own business again" (pg.19). This quote strongly shows how the elites do not care about those of low social class. For example, a CEO of a business does not care whether his employees end up dead or alive at the end of that day because there will always be someone to fill in.
By: Jacob Villarreal
Marxist Perspective of Pygmalion
(Google Images)
(Google images)
(George Bernard Shaw)
(George Bernard Shaw)
(Google Images)
(George Bernard Shaw)
After a successful night of Eliza proving true that Higgins has transformed her into a duchess, Higgins and Pickering begin to celebrate. While Higgins and Pickering are still a bit dazed, they begin to converse about how Higgins. After Eliza questions Higgins about her future, Higgins replies, "How the devil do I know whats to become of you? What does it matter what becomes of you? (pg. 50). This scene represents a Marxist perspective and shows how Professor Higgins of high class does not care about what happens to Eliza. This scene is similar to the scene of Act 2 when Higgins exclaims ".. we will throw her back into the gutter"(pg. 19). The future of low social class people is of no concern to those of high social class.
Act 5
In the final act of Pygmalion, Mr. Doolittle returns to Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering; he returns as a rich man. Surprisingly, Doolittle begins to attack Professor Higgins and explains to him the reasons that he hates being a middle class man. Mr. Doolittle exclaims, "Now I am worried; tied neck and heels; and everybody touches me for money",(pg.58). This quote shows that Mr. Doolittle feels annoyed of being a middle class man and wishes to return to his old social status of a poor dustman. The only thing Mr. Doolittle is lacking is the formal English of a middle class man. Not all who are of higher class are happier than those of a lower social status.
Works Cited
Shaw, Bernard. Pygmalion. New York: Brentano, 1916; Bartleby.com, 1999. www.bartleby.com/138/.
Abrams, M.H. "Marxist Criticism." A Glossary of Literary Terms. 7th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999.
(Google Images)
(Google Images)
(Google Images)
(George Bernard Shaw)
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