discuss some pygmalion themes: (sorry if it is 2 much)theme of social snobbery theme of social transformation theme of creation theme of education theme of appearance versus reality

Expert Answers
ishpiro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since you mention several themes, you might want to point out that some of them are interrelated and can be discussed together. For example, the theme of social snobbery is tied in with the theme of "appearance versus reality." Social snobbery usually refers to the way society looks down on people due to the circumstances beyond their control—how much money they have, their looks, their background. In other words, social snobbery is all about appearance rather than reality. There are many incidents in Pygmalion where people are judged solely upon their appearance.

The theme of social transformation is likewise related to the theme of education and the theme of creation. Higgins sets out originally to merely "educate" Eliza. (He does have some social transformation in mind, but he thinks it will be merely superfluous and temporary.) However, due to the process of education, Eliza actually becomes someone else—she is unable to go back to her old self and old life—and Higgins, in essence, has created a new person. It is important to mention here the transformation and education of Higgins himself (has he learned from the experience?) along with the experience of the other characters, namely, Alfred Doolittle, Eliza's father. 

 

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first thing you should probably do is to remember that this play originally comes from the ancient world. The fullest rendering of the poem comes from Ovid. So, if you look at Ovid's take on the myth and compare it with Shaw's version, then there would be great room for discussion. Second, the whole story is about transformation. So, you can take this theme and talk about the internal transformation of Pygmalion or even the transformation of the reader as he or she reads the story. Remember Orpheus, the greatest bard, is telling the story in Ovid. His music is supposed to transform people! You can also talk about what "seems to be" and "is." this is a classic discussion among the ancients. What is the difference? What are the similarities? What role does art play into this discussion, especially as art seeks to imitate nature?