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Word Count: 548
George Bernard Shaws play Pygmalion is the story of Henry Higgins a master phonetician and his mischievous plot to pass a common flower girl Eliza Doolittle off as a duchess at the Embassy Ball In order achieve his goal Higgins must teach Eliza how to speak properly and how to act in upper-class society The play pokes fun at middle class morality and upper-class superficiality reflects the social ills of nineteenth century England and attests that all people are worthy of respect and dignity Pygmalion pokes fun at middle class morality through the characterization of Mr Doolittle Elizas father Mr Doolittle is a common dustman an indolent man who spends his time drinking alcohol at the local pub He is not too proud to beg for money even from Eliza Moreover he lives with a woman to whom he is not married When Henry Higgins writes to a politician and refers to him as the best moralist speaker in London Mr Doolittle is forced into the middle class and thus he must adhere to middle-class morality This means he is expected go to church marry his live-in girlfriend give up alcohol refrain from picking up women and give money to his impoverished relatives Eliza is faced with a similar situation After Higgins introduces her to fine society Eliza can not go back to being a flower girl Her former acquaintances do not recognize her anymore She is miserable and confused Shaw maintains that perhaps it would be better if Higgins had never introduced Eliza and her father to upper class society Pygmalion also pokes fun at the superficiality of upper class society a society in which social status is determined by the language that one speaks ones manners and the clothes one wears It is astounding that Higgins is able to pass Eliza off as an aristocrat and Hungarian royalty
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