• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17

How and to what effect does the use of language empower Higgins and transform Eliza in G.B. Shaws Pygmalion?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Extended Essay Category 1 How and to what effect does the use of language empower Higgins and transform Eliza in G.B. Shaw?s Pygmalion Content * Title page???????????????????1 * Content????????????????????2 * Abstract???????????????????...3 * Introduction??????????????????.4 * Social Class Distinction?????????????..4 * Gender Inequality ??????????????..?9 * Conclusion??????????????????.15 * Bibliography?????????????????...17 ________________ Abstract: While reading Pygmalion, I was fascinated by the intricate details of language and how it affected the identity of Eliza. Realizing that language and identity were somehow connected in Pygmalion, I dove deeper into this issue and researched the effect of language on the social identities of Eliza and Henry Higgins. Keeping all this in mind, I came to formulate the research question ?How and to what effect does the use of language empower Higgins and transform Eliza?? Shaw felt that the only way to improve ones position in society was by improving their language. He was determined to raise the social consciousness of his audience while emphasizing the use of language. Shaw portrays this through Higgins and Eliza in Pygmalion who are at the opposite ends of society. This essay is a development of Shaw?s frame of thought. This essay is divided into two sections where each will be analyzing an area of inequality that set back England?s progression in Shaw?s view. The first section focuses on the social class distinction; Shaw tries to highlight the use of language. In his perception, the language that the two characters used defined their identities. I will be arguing that the language doesn?t define their identities but rather steals it away. The second section focuses on gender inequality and how according to Shaw, the improvement of education and language would reduce the gender inequality. I would then argue that language doesn?t hold a connection to the gender inequality in the society. Rather, language is only used to demoralize Eliza. I will also be stressing the fact that as a well refined lady, Eliza faces an identity crisis and more gender inequality than she did living on the streets as a common girl. ...read more.

Middle

Twenty years before Pygmalion was written George Grissing voiced the opinion of most of the people about the hopelessness of social progress. He stated: ?The London work girl is rarely capable of raising herself or being raised, to a place on life above that to which she was born; she cannot learn how to stand and sit and move like a woman bred to refinement, any more than she can fashion her tongue to graceful speech.?[15] ?Equality and inequality in social terms are thereby proven to be both extrinsic and subjective; this is clearly Shaw?s thesis from a socialist point of view?[16]. The people, who don?t meet these criteria, have no other option but to survive in the streets such as the corner of Tottenham Court Road. Most people unconsciously make preconceptions about a character taking into mind different attributes such as gender, age, level of education etc. Due to these preconceptions, people often assume the characters personality and class in context to their decisions. Leah Zuidema claims that ?these assumptions are not inconsequential thoughts. People act on their ideas, and, as a result, prejudice becomes active discrimination?[17] Eliza and Higgins are created to contrast each other entirely. The man is educated, and the woman is illiterate; the man is smart, and the woman is senseless; the man is reasonable, and the woman is emotional, etc. Higgins is a naturally selfish misogynistic celibate. Exactly how Eliza accuses him as one in the beginning of the play. "Oh, you've no feeling heart in you; you don't care for nothing but yourself."[18] Higgins being fluent in his speech is able to make statements such ?treating all people the same, as in heaven, where there are no third-class carriages?[19] at first leaves his audiences in awe but later they realize that these are only excuses for his crude remarks towards Eliza and his careless habit of dismissing manners. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this realization, Higgins has no choice but to accept the situation as what it is. His creation is not entirely his anymore; the creation has started to create itself. And that she is, in fact probably going to be a better creator for further more pupils to come. Higgins? has to accept Eliza as his equal or maybe more. Conclusion Although language plays a huge role in creating the identities of the two characters, in this play it does not completely overpower their identities. In terms of social class distinction, the language used by the characters of different societies created their identities only as a use of identifying their origins. The ironical part is that the lower class characters such as Eliza are much more humane and likeable to the audiences than the higher class characters such as Higgins. The language used by Higgins throughout the play is condescending and harsh which corrupts his identity and leads him to believe in the male dominated society. Thus, he is not a character in the favor of social progression. Eliza however is the opposite because she goes against the norms of the societies and decides to educate herself and build a new identity for herself. Although, her old identity is lost in the process of acquiring the new one which she, at times, regrets losing. A connection between the language and gender inequality creating an identity is solely based on the actions and reactions of the characters. The language aspect is only used to emphasize on their identities whereas their identities are also presumed by the characters use of language creating a paradox. Eliza, by the end of the play realizes that even though she achieves her ambitions of becoming a lady fit enough to work in a flower shop, she also has to carry the burden of a lady who is expected to be demure and innocent. The realization sets in when she realizes that as a common girl, she had more liberty to do as she wished without it being questioned whereas, as a lady, working itself is not acceptable. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Comparing Pygmalion with the film My Fair lady

    Moreover, the characters feelings and emotions are equally able to be transmitted to the reader and viewer even though they are in different ways. In Shaw's version, readers can interpret Eliza's fear through the dialogue. Similarly, in the film, viewers have the ability to watch Eliza's facial expressions and body movement to understand her emotions.

  2. Lord of the Flies Critical Analysis

    These conditions cause a change in the boys. Jack, as he attempts to make a name for himself and gain the trusts of the boys, takes on a increasingly savage Fire: The fire is originally symbolic of a beacon for help.

  1. Compare and contrast Not My Business by Niyi Osundare and First They Came for ...

    The different poetic devices and techniques used to express the aggression and emphasise the injustice make the poem appear more brutal whereas 'First They Came for the Jews' involves a dooming sense of uncertainty, leaving the reader wondering what happened to the victims.

  2. In Pygmalion, Shaw portrays a society in translation, in which progressive notions of femininity ...

    "Now you have made a lady of me, I'm not fit to sell anything else. I wish you'd left me where you found me". This indicates that higher-class woman have no place in the society as they cannot afford their own costs.

  1. Gusev Analysis. Chekov brings up two ordinary characters that are suffering under the ...

    Pavel treats Gusev with utter contempt because he is annoyed by the calm nature of Gusev and lack of comprehension of what he is saying but he does not stop convincing Gusev that he too should denounce social iniquitous. However his idea of meeting of a literary friend displays proficiency of his ideas.

  2. Social Distinction in the novel Pygmalion

    England?s social class, as a major theme, was clarified greatly through the art of speech. Throughout most of civilization, people have been divided in classes. There is the rich and powerful, the middle class who are less powerful but nonetheless respected, and the incapable poor.

  1. Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapters 7,8,9 and 10

    * He is unable to stand the sight any longer and faint, like a regular human. * Simon is a complex figure, he doesn't not fit into Jack's type or Ralph's. o Simon is kindhearted and believes in order and civilization but he also feels a deep connection with nature

  2. Reflections on "Miss Julie" in a cultural context

    made some excuses to be away from her by saying that she will injure her reputation if people see him with her and that will also be very disgraceful to her father perhaps this applies the social power.

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