• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparison of representations of femininity in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparison of representations of femininity in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. In Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, we see two main female characters in each work. The works both use these characters to present questions against the general attitude towards women at the time. Antoinette is an outsider in both communities she lives amongst in a similar way Eliza is shown to be an outsider in the surroundings she is brought into by Higgins. In act one Eliza is introduced as a flower girl. Her major concern here is about being mistaken for soliciting, instead of selling flowers 'They'll take away my character and drive me on the streets for speaking to gentlemen.'. She has a fear that her character will be destroyed by such an indictment: Here Shaw reflects a real fear felt by women of that class at that time. The daughter's remark to Higgins shows her fear at being out amongst disreputable classes 'Dont dare speak to me.' In act two when Eliza goes to Higgins' home she establishes that she has a right to be treated like a lady 'If you was a gentleman, you might ask me to sit down'. ...read more.

Middle

I should have thrown the fire-irons at you.' Eliza shows how much needed this recognition was to her when she says to Pickering 'the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. ... I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.' The dialogue here between Higgins and Eliza shows a turning point for Eliza, she is now calmer and it is Higgins who is agitated and loses control. Eliza holds power over him as he pleads with her to come back. In Wide Sargasso Sea the character of Antoinette narrates the first part of the novel. We see in the opening pages the sinister nature of the language, we see her loneliness and isolation. Her and the other women in her family are affected by the fact that they are caught between two communities in the island, her mother uses the word 'Marooned' to emphasise this. Her mother is not prominent in her life and it seems the black nurse Christophine is is the dominant woman in Antoinette's life 'Christophine found me when it was nearly dark, and I was so stiff she had to help me get up.' ...read more.

Conclusion

The background of racial unrest in the novel reflects the time at which Rhys was writing. At the time the black civil rights movement was starting in America women and black people identified their respective lack of freedom in society, this is reflected in the novel as Antoinette feels she identifies more with the black community due to their lack of freedom. George Bernard Shaw reflects the attitudes of men towards women in the time he wrote the play. The fact that Eliza could be picked up and used like a doll. Shaw uses class as another division between the characters, the fact that Eliza is working class adds to her vulnerability. Her violent reaction to Higgins in act four is representative of the aggressive, often, violent protests of the suffragettes at the time. These differences represent the differing time in which the works were written, what was happening politically and socially during the authors lives. The class and race elements put the two main characters in different situations also. Both women though share the fact that they conform, or attempt to conform, to the modes of behaviour that are expected of women in society those conventions considered feminine. The reaction of these characters against those conventions is part of the feminist message in the two works. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. A Sons Plight

    "Mate the film hasn't finished yet. Give it five more minutes, then we leave ok" said his Michele. Me and Michel finish watching the dreadful, boring, and, lame film, we then leave the cinema, as we are on our way back to school, for some reason all the buses in the area are closed.

  2. A comparison of two adverts- Skoda Fabia and Citroen C4

    In this sense the two adverts are similar, both touching upon childhood memories. Stereotypically men are much more interested in technology than women and this shows in the advert because its target market is men. It is fast paced, alive, dangerous, could be considered to be 'cool' and the car possesses strength and power.

  1. How does Bronte create sympathy for Jane Eyre?

    However, although Mr Rochester at first showed some interest and Jane is starting to find a feeling of contentment, Bronte soon turns this around so that Jane is receiving mixed messages and she starts to find out about the not so positive aspects of the family.

  2. What in your opinion is Chaucer

    This means that he was extremely skinny and not very well off and it is a possible chance that he is at Oxford through a bursary as "he had geten him yet no benefyce." He even preferred studying and books to the riches of life - unlike the previous charactors.

  1. Jane Eyre

    Therefore she immediately rebels by saying; 'I resisted all the way'. This indicates Jane is full of passionate anger and emboldened by her outburst at John to fight on; as Jane is in the room that Jane's uncle died. Her will and strength is clearly seen and looked upon for her desire upon her uncle.

  2. Dear George

    From time to time, throughout the painful enduring journey, she would imagine various outcomes; mostly bad which would consist of images of her at school with the lively younger children not understanding how she would be feeling while her friends were leaning up a wall in a group, laughing and

  1. Write a comparison of the music videos Lean back(TM) by Terror Squad and Jesus ...

    Another image is one set at the front of Fat Joe's house. At the entrance there are metal detectors and one man is being checked before being allowe to enter. This image is such one representing class, sending out the message that if you don't dress, talk, have wealth or

  2. Analyse George Bernard Shaws presentation of transformation and how he explores this in Pygmalion

    Our identity can remain the same even though we may look entirely different. George Bernard Shaw questions to what extent does our appearance affect and reflect our identity. Things related to changing on the outside would be speech, clothes and posture.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work