Mrs. Warren's Profession Essay

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Guyette, a longtime journalist, received a bachelor's degree in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. In this essay, Guyette discusses how Shaw, in writing about what he believes to be the underlying causes of prostitution in Britain during the latter part of the nineteenth century, also skewers a society built upon a foundation of hypocrisy.

A committed socialist, Shaw held the firm but controversial belief that prostitution is not the result of moral laxity on the part of women who sell their bodies. He maintained instead that the problem resulted from a political and economic system that allowed much of Britain's population to live in abject poverty. To win others over to his position, Shaw penned this play, which served as a sort of four-act argument. He explains his purpose in an essay appearing in Bernard Shaw Complete Plays with Prefaces.

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