Date of Award


Degree Type

UG Dissertation (Restricted)



First Advisor

Dr. Ding Ersu


This project is a sociological comparison and analysis of Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. In the first play, Eliza Doolittle, in Pygmalion, rises in the British society, but Blanche Dubois, in A Streetcar Named Desire, falls in the American society. By comparing the class structure, class and language, social mobility, and the role of women in Britain and America, the upward and downward movements of the two characters can be clearly understood. Since Shaw and Williams were both unsatisfied with their social realities, their views on societies and life in politics are embedded in the two plays. By looking at the social contexts of the plays and the playwrights' views on their social realities at the same time, we can understand how the playwrights' attitudes towards the social class systems are revealed through the particular arrangements of the plot.

Recommended Citation

Li, T. Y. T. (2004). Rise and fall in the hierarchical worlds: a comparative study of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (UG dissertation, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from