Class, Money And Moral Responsibility In Pygmalion

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Literature viewed through Marxist perspective will often reflect the cultural assumptions and societal delegations of their time period, whilst simultaneously attempting to explain the world with rational and palpable evidence. Pygmalion, a play written by Bernard Shaw, uses the Marxist perspective to present a this or that picture of the world, helping the reader better understand how money and appearance (specifically language) play into public status.

           Pygmalion was written to reflect the Victorian ages, to which the author argues, seems that the upper and middle classes often had more success in their skirmishes while the working class poor-almost invariably-lose due to the insatiability of their employers, poverty-stricken living conditions, ignorance, and apathy. Readers can see evidence of the Marxist take, particularly in the character of Henry Higgins. In reference to Eliza, a working class flower girl, he says She is no doubt as clean as she can afford to be; but compared to the ladies she is very dirty. Her features are no worse than theirs; but their condition leaves something to be desired; and she needs the services of a dentist. (1.29) this demonstrates that more than just phonetics and dialect separate her from other women. The argument being that she would fit right in with more affluent society if she simply had enough money to take care of herself. This notion presents the severity of Eliza’s social impasse, by reflecting her current social status, in comparison, to other female citizens.

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         The play doesn’t stop there. It continues to explore the elements of societal repression when introducing the character Alfred Doolittle, a “thinking man”

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