Pygmalion Reflection

Pygmalion by George Bernard is a play where we can see differences in levels of wealth and how looks and impressions impact our social status. Eliza in this play experiences firsthand how all it takes to become upper class is to change her voice and clothes, she attempts to lose her natural accent and general mannerisms, in hopes to attend the Embassy ball. Higgins sees this as being an experiment and does not even seem to see Eliza as a person and instead of a test subject. He does not attempt at all to learn about who Eliza is, and instead just immediately starts trying to fix her vocabulary and the sound of her voice.

Language is the main focus it seems when it came to Higgins transforming Eliza from a “Flower Girl” to what he thought a woman should look and be heard as. Judging someone by the way they use their language is still relevant in today’s society, people will assume your intelligence and views on subjects immediately, even sometimes from only hearing the tone of your voice and not even your usage of the language that you speak. We see this in the movie when Eliza is at the Embassy Ball and she speaks to a man who seems to be an expert of the English language, he tells his friends after speaking with Eliza that she is not speaking pure English, he thinks it is too good to be true and proceeds to call her a fake. The play shows us this judgment of class through language at the Embassy Ball, which is a very high-class event and people are judged incredibly hard. If the movie were put in the setting of say a high school, you would find them similar. We don’t look at how people really are and judge the surface looks and sound rather what’s actually under the surface just as Higgin’s did with Eliza though he was too much more of an extent.

Language is a massive part of how we see people, add a few intelligent words to your vocabulary and you will sound much more intelligent sometimes even a different person. When I look at Eliza it made me realize how little the barrier can be between upper-class and lower-class people in looks and sound. The lower class may have less money compared to the upper class but could fit in just great if they spoke a little different and dressed in a suit or dress every day, then you wouldn’t be able to tell whatsoever who is lower and who is upper class. Just because someone speaks differently than what you are used to does not mean that they are incapable of anything you can do.

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