Pygmalion PR

Pygmalion, a play by George Bernard Shaw, is named after a famous Greek myth. I did not know what I felt after watching and reading the play as it seemed realistically unrealistic. The play is mainly about the process of a common flower girl named Eliza upgrading her social class by learning the accent of a higher social class from the linguistic professor, Henry Higgins. Pygmalion is originally a myth Pygmalion creates a sculpture that matches the ideal image of his own creation, and then he falls in love with it. Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering teach Eliza to adapt to the proper English and sculpt her to become a “dutchess”. The ending of Pygmalion is different from the myth of Pygmalion, in which Eliza did not fall in love with either of them, yet she threatens Higgins at the end of the play. Eliza symbolizes the ideal creation, and Higgins symbolizes the sculptor.

The conflict between language and social class derives from Pygmalion. The relationship between language and social class can still be seen nowadays, in every country. “The more standard version of the dialect you speak, the higher social class you belong to” becomes the norm of modern days. It also represents that you have higher education. How do language and manner be the identification of a person? In Pygmalion, both language and manner are used to identify a person’s social class and position. Eliza speaks Cockney English her behavior recognizes her as the lowest social class at the beginning of the play. In my opinion, manner is vigorously associated with a person’s identification. From how a person behaves and talks, I can determine his education level and his background. This is the reason why manner and language are inevitable in the identification of a person.

Pygmalion and A Doll’s House are contrasting plays that include different themes and stories. Eliza is illustrated as a rebellious person when Nora in A Doll’s House is depicted as a doll that fulfills her husband’s wishes. However, similarly, the two female characters of these two plays both have similar endings, in which they both leave their men and have control of their own life. I admire their courage and determination of taking control of their own lives. “I sold flowers. I didn’t sell myself” (act 4) is my favorite quote throughout the book. It caught my attention and hit my heart when I was reading the play.

Compare to other literature we read this year, Pygmalion has an informal and conversational diction that makes it less challenging to read. However, it is unrealistic that the social class of a person changes when their accent changes. This is the most impenetrable part of the play.