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The main theme of George Bernard Shaw`s play, Mrs. Warren`s Profession, is the contrast between surface values and actual truth. Money brings the appearance of respectability, and can serve as a class marker, but in fact the surface respectability of Mrs. Warren is belied by her profession, and the shocking nature of her profession belies her inner conventionality. Thus it is important that the cottage is designed to convey the picture of upper middle class ‘county’ English respectability and comfort, as opposed to the stark functionality and uncompromising modernity of Vivie`s office. Shaw's stage directions often convey his design intentions in far greater detail than those of other playwrights and are worth reading carefully.
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