English Practice Essay

Submitted By teabelleorgan
Words: 678
Pages: 3

English Practice Essay The limitations of women in society are frequently discussed in literature. George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a flower girl in Victorian times who is transformed into a duchess by a bullying, phonetics professor. Through his characters, Shaw explores the limitations of being a woman in the Victorian times which are; limited career choice and dependency on men, constantly being objectified, and Shaw proves to his audience in Pygmalion that there are very small number of career options that are deemed acceptable and attainable for women. The first character in which this can be seen is Eliza Doolittle, the protagonist of the play, who wishes to become independent and make a substantial income but is limited by the Professor Higgins and in a broader sense the current patriarchal society to only advance to a “lady in a flower shop”, or marry and become a “lady of society”. This helps show the limitations of women because it demonstrates how a women has only a certain amount of independence concerning careers as they are expected to rely on men to have the more prominent, important careers thus limiting the women’s ability to provide for herself and chose what she wishes to accomplish. A second example of women being limited in their career choice is the lack of diversity of careers of the female characters in this play. For example, the only careers of the female characters in this play is a flower girl, a lady of society, and a caretaker. These less important, independent, and educated professions are heavily contrasted with the professions of the male characters in the play. These include a Professor, a Colonel, and a lecturer. Shaw purposely does not include a large variety of professions within his female characters to emphasize to the audience the lack of diversity in real life and therefore he is satirizing reality. The limitations on women’s careers corresponds directly to the power than men have over women. In Victorian times it can be seen that men were regarded as more important and independent than women and in result women were treated as objects and the property of men. Shaw explores the concept of the objectification of women through the characters Alfred Doolittle and Mrs. Pearce. Firstly Alfred Doolittle, Eliza’s father sells Eliza to Higgins for “5 Pounds” as to suggest that women are mere commodities, burdens, or objects to men and without the women’s consent can be manipulated and used. This shows the objectification of women because Eliza was unable to make this decision for herself but