English IV (F)
6th September 2012
A Look At The Older Views of Society
There is a saying that renders strong and important advice that should be instilled within all of us. The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” displays a very enriching message. One is not to judge others by their outward appearance. This means that one cannot simply critique someone based upon physical appearance, education, social status, and financial status; instead a person should analyze someone about what is in the inside. People should get to know the person or “read” them before making any assumptions. This saying can be applied to the views of the people of the early 20th century. George Shaw’s Pygmalion, a play that is set during 1912, portrays and expands upon humanity’s views on judging a person’s emotional, social, and intellectual worth by social inequality, gender bias, and the search for a person’s identity.
Social inequality was very prominent during the early 20th century as a result of having two basic classes: lower and higher class. In addition, this was the outcome due to the elite in the society who ruled and had power to everything, so the lower class always depended upon the elite. In regards to the play, the flower girl, or Eliza Doolittle, is portrayed as a girl who is of the impoverished of society. Eliza is a woman of the streets and, “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” (Act 1. 2). According to the quote from Pygmalion, Eliza is portrayed as a woman with poor hygiene and a trashy appearance, which separates her from the upper class of women. This negatively affected Eliza because nobody would have even communicated with someone who carried very low standards of appearance. Lastly, in the real, modern world, an example of...
Cited: Shaw, George Bernard. Pygmalion. New York: Dover, 1994. Print.
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