What are some examples of hypocrisy in the play Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The major examples of hypocrisy in the play Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw revolve around the situational irony of conventional morality and the very unconventional lives of the protagonists. While Mrs. Warren is unsentimental about sexuality, she professes conventional sentimentality about family relationships and middle class respectability (despite her profession). Vivie is almost diametrically opposed to her mother in this in that she is highly unconventional in her ideas of gender, family, and the professional roles of women but very conventional and easily shocked concerning sexual mores. Shaw himself sees hypocrisy as one of the results of conventional morality and censorship combined; he argues that social change and remedying of social injustice requires eliminating both:


“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”

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