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Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw Pygmalion is set in the late 1800s during the Victorian age when the distinction between the social-economic classes was very clearly made Shaw made this issue one of the themes of this play and unveiled the markers people of the era had used to judge and evaluate one another These yardsticks include - articulation of the English language wealth social status dressing and education The members of society at that time were plainly marked by how they articulate the English language Those higher up the socio-economic ladder spoke better English genteel English as Eliza Doolittle puts it and those from the lower classes spoke a hotchpotch of English dialects according to their origins Henry Higgins a professor of linguistics readily informs us by creating a new speech for her Its filling up the deepest gulf that separates class from classAct III Wealth also plays an important role as a class marker those from the higher end of the socio-economic spectrum tend to be more affluent compared to the masses of the lower end This is especially evident in Pygmalions first act when Higgins casually flings his loose change into Elizas flower-basket loose change that Eliza deems as a small fortune Status is also important for it conjures an illusion of affluence This is shown in the Eynsford-Hills case where Clara so desperately clings to the middle-class society despite the fact that they were probably poorer that many people from the lower classes However they were able to keep up in the upper classes largely due to their name and background On a more superficial level it is also possible to differentiate the classes through the way they dressed For instance Eliza at the beginning of the play was dressed in such deplorability that the first thing Higgins did when he took charge of her was to Take all her clothes off and burn them Elizas transformation into a
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