Theme of Education in Pygmalion

Theme of Education in PygmalionTheme of Education in Pygmalion

It is important to note Bernard Shaw’s contribution to modern English drama. He is able to discuss a serious issue in our society as deeply as he can. His plays are called ‘Comedies of Purpose’ by his readers. Shaw wrote plays with the intention of changing society’s views and opinions. Shaw had no other motivation to write plays.G.K. Chesterton:

Bernard Shaw is very similar to Plato in his instinctive affinities. Elevation of temper, his courage in pursuit of ideas as far and as many as he can.Will go; his civic idealism, and also, it should be admitted, in his dislike for poets and a touch delicate inhumanity (George Bernard Shaw, 53).

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Education is enlightenment. It is a rainbow that reveals many colors, from early childhood development to higher education. It can also be found in remedial programs for students who are behind. It is both an artistic science as well as a scientific art. It’s not about reading books, but understanding. It’s the art of teaching knowledge and not pushing knowledge into the uninitiated.

The theme of education is used in Pygmalion to emancipate working class people. Eliza is forced to leave her home and give up her personal features. Language becomes linked to identity, and Eliza finds a new identity via education. Language training can overcome social barriers such as age, accents and class. This is evident in Eliza’s transformation.

However, it becomes problematic if one’s language is revealing or shaping one’s character. Eliza’s protest at the end of play discredits this idea. She understands that education and social progress are interconnected. Eliza’s difficulties show that language is not enough to transform. She does not have the education necessary to fully integrate. Shaw shows us how difficult it is to move classes during those days.

Pygmalion, a complex piece of art, has many themes. Its central theme is Eliza Doolittle’s education. Through successive stages of despair and self-pity, she rises from darkness and ignorance to spiritual light. Realization, illumination, and social identity Eliza Doolittle, an illiterate and ignorant girl who sells flowers, is introduced in the play.

Theme of Education in Pygmalion: Convent

Garden. She speaks a Cockney language that only native Londoners understand. She is crude, ill-mannered, and saucy at this stage. Eliza asks a gentleman for flowers. Shaw uses the theme of education to show that Eliza is not an educated woman. The gentleman gave Eliza three pence, but he left without giving her any flowers. The gentleman who gave her the money is advised by a witness to her to send some flowers.

He suggests that someone is looking at her from a distance, taking notes and might be a detective. She could be arrested selling to street customers. The flower-girl becomes both scared and angry at this point. She says that she is a poor girl, who makes her living honest and does no harm. She spoke only to the gentleman to buy flowers for her, and did not say anything else.

She said:

I haven’t done anything wrong by speaking with the gentleman.

If I don’t get kerbed, I have the right to sell flowers. I am a respectable

Girl: So help me, I never spoke with him other than to ask him to buy me a flower (Pygmalion: pages. 10-11 The note-taker listens to her speech and takes notes. He then reads her words, reproducing her pronunciation. He says, “Cheer ap, keptin; n’baw ya flahr orf a pore gel”. (Pygmalion 12)

Eliza protests that her speech to a man cannot be taken into police custody and drove on the streets. She defends herself, saying she is just like any moral woman. She said: He has no right to remove my character. My character is the exact same to me as any woman’s (Pygmalion 14).

Colonel Pickering, who is also a student in Phonetics, came all the way from India for Professor Higgins to meet him in London. The theme of education is evident in this Act.  He is delighted to have met Higgins after his encounter with Eliza. He spends the night at Higgins’ home.

Colonel Pickering is proud to say that he can pronounce twenty-four distinct vowel sound, but Professor Higgins is very surprised to be able distinguish between as many as one hundred thirty distinct vowel sounds.

Eliza is worried about her future, but she is still ambitious. Eliza wants to be a top salesgirl in a flower shop. Eliza calls Prof. Higgins the next day and tells him that she wants to learn Phonetics. Higgins believes that she is an object of his experiment.

He dismisses her, saying that he already has recorded the dialect. Eliza informs him that Eliza has come to learn pronunciation lessons from him. He has not offered her a place. She claims that she would pay him as any other lady.

Higgins accepts Higgins as his student. He tells her, however, that he is strict disciplinarian. He says, “If I decide that I teach you, then I’ll do worse than two fathers to your children” (Pygmalion 25). Higgins tells her first that she must learn grammar.

This is a great way to improve her pronunciation. Higgins tells her, “I don’t want to speak grammar.” “I want to speak like a lady in the flower-shop.” (Pygmalion, 29). Higgins transforms the flower-girl from a shabby to a fashionable lady.

Eliza finds the process of education difficult at first. First, Eliza must be cleaned, dressed, and scrubbed. Eliza is shy and afraid to take a naked bath. However, Mrs. Pearce is the housekeeper for Prof. Higgins and manages to make Eliza feel physically decent.

Higgins replied to Mrs. Pearce that his job was only to teach Eliza Phonetics, and make her fashionable. They can then throw her back in the gutter after the job is done. It is her responsibility to care for herself until then. Eliza is a strong, determined woman who has the courage, talent, and determination to face any challenge.

As she continues her education, she learns that what makes a flower-girl different is not how she behaves. It is how she is treated. Higgins still treats her like a low-class flower girl. The theme of education is the center of the play.

Eliza’s education progress is tested in the third Act, the theme of education can be seen in these act. All are impressed when she dresses and behaves like a lady. Eliza from Act III is very different to the Act I flower girl, but she is still learning. Her social background is evident in her small talk. She is still not able to communicate the right way for a lady to talk at a social event.

Despite her poor English, she speaks about things that easily reveal her low status. Higgins teaches Higgins how to correctly pronounce English, dress elegantly, and have fine manners. This has been done over a long time, and the girl has been a problem for him.

Professor Higgins bet Pickering that Eliza would become a Duchess within six months. The experiment was started a few months ago and Eliza is progressing very quickly. Higgins is optimistic about winning the bet. Eliza is almost fluent in a new language. Higgins comments on Eliza’s speed in learning while telling his mother:

She’s a natural listener and has been much easier to teach than my middle-class students because she had to learn a new language.

She can speak English as well as French (Pygmalion 53). After a while, Higgins invites Eliza over to Mrs. Higgins to see how she is doing.

How she conducts herself, and the impression she makes on her mother’s fashionable friends. He advised Eliza to limit her statements to ‘Fine Day’ and ‘How Do You Do’. Higgins’ mother, Mrs. Higgins, tells Higgins Eliza is a triumphant of her art and her dress-maker’s art.

However, every sentence Eliza spoke had given her away. Higgins continues teaching Eliza Phonetics lessons. Eliza is finally invited to the party as an ambassador after six months. She is now able to be reborn not as a Duchess but as a princess with royal blood. Her ladylike manners and department deceive all.

Her soul was awakened during her Phonetics education and she has moved from spiritual darkness into light. Her soul’s hidden potentials have been fully explored. She has been transformed spiritually. That is the true education. She is now seeking social identity.

She is now aware of the problems she faces and her soul has awakened. She can’t go back to her previous position. She is not part of the middle class. She is full of despair. For social happiness, she must feel accepted and connected. Eliza starts to look for emotional fulfillment. Higgins doesn’t treat Eliza as a Duchess after the Ambassador party. So Eliza decides to leave Higgins’ home for good.

Theme of Education in PygmalionTheme of Education in Pygmalion: allowing others to grow by believing that they can succeed

Pygmalion was a Greek ancient sculpture. He was both a lover and a feared of women. He created a sculpture depicting the perfect woman, which he could look at whenever he desired. He fell in love with the sculpture, however, because it was so perfect. At a party, Aphrodite granted him one wish when he met Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

He wished for a woman like his sculpture, and Aphrodite granted him that wish. His sculpture was made to live when he returned home and he kissed his wife. This myth’s symbolism has the following meaning in education and pedagogy: We can bring other people to life by our expectations.

Children who grow up in poverty can benefit greatly from the Pygmalion effect. These children are not likely to be able to achieve social mobility, according research. Poor conditions are more likely to keep you in poverty throughout your adulthood.

Your chances of success in life depend on the environment and your family. Research has shown that poorer neighborhoods have higher levels of crime and unemployment, more mental health problems and more teachers recommending to children to go to lower secondary schools [2].

Theme of Education in Pygmalion: Expectations of Teachers

The theme of education in Pygmalion is relevant in that, Children in many European countries go to different levels for secondary and higher education. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, the education of children is influenced by the opinions of their primary school teachers.

They give advice to parents on the best educational path for their children. We see that advice given to children from less fortunate families is often lower than that for their peers. There is no evidence to suggest that children from better families are more intelligent. Teacher expectations can explain differences in school advice.

Teachers have expectations of their students. These expectations are based upon a range of characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, cultural background, academic performance, and socio-economic status. Teachers communicate expectations to students in implicit ways.

Students who have higher expectations of their students may get more turns to speak, get asked more difficult questions, and get more help when they give incorrect answers. The reverse is also true. Teachers who have low expectations of children will limit their children’s opportunities to speak. Teachers are more likely to give incorrect answers than they think and shift their focus to other children.


Shaw is an unusual combination of gay and serious. He is considered the father of theatre in England. His plays are sermons about social follies, and vices.

Shaw is a master at defining characters. Both Higgins’ and Eliza’s characters are memorable. Dramatist Eliza has given life to both of these characters. Higgins is a fascinating character who readers will love and admire for his swearing habit, his tendency to lose his temper at the slightest provocation as well as his awareness of himself as Professor of Phonetics.

His love for his mother, his dedication to his profession, and his willingness to swear make him a sworn-in fool. Eliza has also been drawn convincingly, first as a flower girl who was illiterate and then as a beautiful lady. Readers are amazed at the transformation of Eliza.

Speaking English and acting like a prince. Eliza is a lady because of her education. She cannot return to her childhood environment to sell flowers like she did. She is now isolated from her past. She is now a lady and has lost all of her identity. Eliza faces the dilemma of losing her identity and being alienated. Eliza must find her belonging in the new social network.

Her education has given her a positive environment. She was alienated from her.

Her earlier social environment was not the best for her, and she now seeks identity and belongingness in the better social environment where she was raised. Eliza is a strong individual and the play reflects a more vitalist philosophy than a socialist. Eliza is not a flower girl who can be a lady. Only those with the right drive and talent can. Because Freddy would be a better father for her children, she makes her own decisions and marries Freddy.

Eliza was not a fool. She was naturally intelligent. Higgins can’t claim to have made this. The theme of education is the center of the Play as revolves around Eliza.

Eliza. Eliza received nothing but his language. She was intelligent, independent, and dignity before she met Higgins. She is now able to express her feelings better, thanks to all the education that she received from Higgins. Higgins’ contribution to Eliza’s creation is no less than it was. It is evident that Eliza’s intelligence was shaped by the education she received from Higgins.