Pygmallion and Social Class

A. George Bernard Shaw - Pygmalion

B. In Pygmalion, Shaw incorporates social class in this play to develop not just one character's identity but multiple.   The story focuses on the transformation of Eliza Doolittle. From the beginning we learn that she is of the lowest of social classes, this is described not because of her unkempt clothing or lack of cleanliness, but her speech and the way she converses.   Professor Higgins sets out to prove that there is power in language between social classes and discrimination for those of lower class.   He baths, dresses, and teaches Eliza to speak proper, then presents her to others, they assumed because of the way she speaks she was of a higher class, unknowing that she is lowest of class on the totem pole. Her father on the other hand could not fool them, even dressed to the nines, his speaking was neanderthal to them and they knew immediately that he didn't belong amongst them. So in a nutshell this play shows that Shaw uses language as a barrier between and defining different social classes.

C. I can't say I experience issues similar to Eliza Doolittle, however, I can say I experience life similar like this everyday.   I live in a city they have deemed "Little NYC." Majority of our population here is Hispanic, or of Latino heritage and the dialect is similar.   Having only moved to this area 4 years ago, I am not a native.   I work at a convenience store with others who have lived here all their lives.   They use that same language barrier to describe the classes her. That's not saying that they think they are upper class, but in their description they are working class.   The Hispanics that come into the store regularly to shop are constantly ridiculed behind their backs not only by "working class" customers, but also by my "working class co-workers.

They assume that their language makes them less of a person and a lower social class then us. They base this upon what they don't even know to be true.   Locals here...