Pygmalion Questions and Answers
by George Bernard Shaw

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What are some techniques used by Shaw in Pygmalion?

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Shaw's aim in the play is to use humor to skewer middle-class theater-goer's pretensions about being middle-class.

One misconception Shaw wishes to upend is the idea that class is inborn and genetic. This was used to deny lower class people opportunities to advance, by arguing it was impossible for them do to so because they were innately inferior. Shaw uses Eliza Doolittle, the lower class flower seller, to show that all it takes is the right accent and clothes for a person to ascend to the middle class.

Shaw employs a comedic approach in doing this. For example, when Eliza is sufficiently advanced in her accent and deportment, Henry Higgins takes her to his mother's and introduces her to his mother's guests as a middle-class lady. Because of her perfect accent and good clothes, the other women accept her...

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