Brenard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession

Topics: George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Drama Pages: 4 (1226 words) Published: December 7, 2005
Women in Society and Mrs. Warren's Profession

The most obvious example of societal morals battling with individual need in Mrs. Warren's Profession, is the case of Mrs. Kitty Warren. Mrs. Warren is a woman whose economic status and lack of professional skills forced her into becoming a prostitute. A profession such as this is strictly against the beliefs of the society that she lives in. Mrs. Warren's Profession, infuriates us because it goes to the bottom of our evils because it places the accusing finger upon the sorest and most damnable spot in our social fabric--SEX as woman's only commodity in the competitive market of life (Goldman). Not only is she not ashamed of her occupation, but she is proud of the amount of money that she has earned from it. When asked of any shame about her job by her daughter she states, "Well of course dearie, it's only good manners to be ashamed of it: it's expected of a woman. Women have to pretend to feel a great deal that they don't feel." (Shaw, Act 2) Mrs. Warren's statement here shows that the only reason that one would be ashamed of such a profession is because society doesn't approve of such actions. She feels that the restriction that society has placed on women has made it impossible for her to pursue any other lifestyle by stating, "I always wanted to be a good woman. I tried honest work; and I was slave-driven until I cursed the day I ever heard of honest work." (Shaw, Act 4). Shaw is attempting to evoke sympathy for the character of Mrs. Warren by pinning her against a society that is against her. He is in favor, however, of the actions that Mrs. Warren has taken, as demonstrated by the rationalization for what she has done and the approving reaction of her daughter Vivie (Foster). It is evident that Shaw approves of going against societal morals when in need, but he disapproves of such actions when it comes to continually doing it solely for greed. This can be seen when Vivie discovers that her...
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