Mrs. Warren's Profession

Hypocrisy in Mrs Warren's Profession 12th Grade

In Mrs. Warren’s Profession, one of Shaw’s central concerns is the hypocrisy of Late Victorian Society and the impact of this hypocrisy on human relationships. Accordingly this essay will discuss Shaw’s literary presentation of social hypocrisy by showing how Shaw depicts hypocrisy as being responsible for the perpetuation of exploitation in capitalism, how hypocrisy poisons ties of kinship and family as well as how hypocrisy is pervasive and difficult to escape. Hypocrisy in the play can be thought of as the inability, or refusal of characters to live up to their professed ideals or virtues, and their attempts to conceal this moral shortcoming.

Shaw presents hypocrisy as responsible for the perpetuation of exploitation in Victorian England, a capitalist society. This is because mass hypocrisy engenders a fear of ostracisation from respectable society, which in turn makes people unwilling to speak out against real social ills. This is seen when Crofts lists numerous examples of public figures who survive off exploitation such as the ‘Ecclesiastical Commissioners’ who rent to ‘publicans and sinners’ and Crofts’ ‘brother the M.P.’ who earns rent from a factory with ‘600 girls … not one of them getting wages enough to live on.’...

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