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

Comparing "Educating Rita" and "Pygmalion"You taught me language, and my profit ont / is I know how to curse.

Extracts from this document...


'You taught me language, and my profit on't / is I know how to curse'. Evaluate the significance of this by comparing and contrasting how Rita and Eliza are learning a new language in an attempt to change. Russell and Shaw explore the intriguing ways in which changing one's identity can be seen as a struggle. The concept of identity can be seen through the determination and ambitions of two young women that are trapped in their social class systems which expect nothing from them. Rita and Eliza decide to make a change and in order to accomplish their ambitions they search for help from men to educate them. Significantly, both of these men have abandoned their identities to which they belong; Higgins removes himself from the upper-middle class, while Frank has become lost in the academic world which he hates and is dissatisfied with his life. In Pygmalion, Eliza just wants a superficial change however, in Educating Rita; Rita believes that change can't be just superficial; change has to be internal aswell as external. Rita and Eliza are two women that are dissatisfied with their lives; they have expectations of themselves in which they want to change. ...read more.


However, it could also portray a chance of hope that others have escaped, so she can aswell. Eliza's desires are symbolised by a poster "...a fashion plate of ladies' dresses, all wildly beyond poor ELIZA's means" Eliza's dreams are symbolises by these women of how she would dream of being like them. During Rita and Eliza's journey of their change, both characters feel isolated from their social class systems and the class they want to belong to. They both have a certain occasion where they both feel they cannot change from what they are and find it hard to be able to fit in with everybody else. Rita reveals her dissatisfaction after not turning up to Frank's party. "Because I'm a freak. I can't talk to the people I live with anymore. An' I can't talk to likes of them on Saturday, or them out there, because I can't learn the language. I'm an alien." Rita feels completely isolated from both worlds; she feels like a 'half-caste' not able to fit in either working class or middle class. This is a significant quote because it portrays an excellent way of Rita struggling, she can't get to grips with 'learning the language' she ...read more.


Overall, Rita and Eliza's change in identity is presented as a struggle. Rita's change is external and internal as she believed in herself to change everything about herself. Whereas, Eliza's change is external as the only change is what you can see, she changes her voice and appearance but internally she still has the mind of a flower girl. Both of these women's journey of change is difficult as they both come from poor backgrounds, they found it hard to fit in and then found it a struggle to get in the mind of an educated person. As the plays are written in different time periods both are portrayed the same because they have the same meaning which is about struggle of change. The main characters Rita and Eliza learn many lessons along their journey of change, for Eliza she learns alot of external changes such as hygiene, manners, etiquette, confidence and appearance, she also learns how to be independent. Rita's changes are more internal as she learns dependence, confidence and social skills. All of these changes are positive but they have both struggled to cope with what's expected of them. The struggles the characters encounter are because of their poor backgrounds as they both lack education. Overall, Russell and Shaw present the changing to one's identity as a struggle. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison 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 AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    By the mid-1930s, there is a resurgence of desert exploration, and then in 1939 the desert becomes another theater of the war. As Hana sits by his bed, the English patient tells her how he was a part of an "oasis society," a small group of Europeans who mapped and explored the desert.

  2. Compare and contrast how Atwood and Orwell use language in their regimes as a ...

    when Offred recalls how her mother burnt p**********c magazines as part of the feminism movement. Atwood uses these extremes to show how similar actions can result in differing consequences. Orwell uses language as an indicator of social class. The Proles use a working class register: the prole woman in the cinema said 'they didn't oughter of showed it'.

  1. "Educating Rita" and "Pygmalion". Russell and Shaw present Rita and Eliza's struggle to attempt ...

    With Rita and Eliza's desires to change, it becomes apparent that both of the characters transformations are going to be difficult. "(The door swings open, revealing Rita)" Such language conjures up the image that the door is symbolic to Rita's entrance as it shows her journey is going to be difficult.

  2. Throughout both Alices Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Carroll shows that ...

    Alice is a diligent student and makes an attempt to practice her learning, but everything she knows about geography is either jumbled or useless in Wonderland. Carroll shows that Victorian education is nonsensical because although she can remember the how many miles down until the center of the earth,

  1. Wilde and Shaw

    The latter element is found in Ibsen's plays. Indeed he writes stories set in the respectable world of the middle class, where individuals struggle to shake off the suffocating chains of social ties and conventions in order to find their personal freedom and identity.

  2. Text Transformation - Collage of Catcher in the Rye and Girl Interrupted

    That's where we step in. To know that somebody cares about you can and understands is a great weapon in deterring a youth from taking that fatal step. Suicide is the second biggest killer amongst young people in Britain today. Over the last six years, the number of suicides peaked in Scotland at 40 per 100,000.

  1. Commentary to Text Transformation of Catcher in the Rye and Girl Interrupted

    I used this example in my transformation because of its link to the stigma of mental illness and integration into society after a period of mental illness. For example, 'Susanna Kaysen: YoungMinds have pointed me in the right direction. When I was discharged from the hospital I had trouble with

  2. I shall be comparing the original Shakespeares Prospero with the Julie Taymors film adaption ...

    The Tempest is, at its heart, about a return to order, in which the wicked are punished, and justice is served. Prospera explains how she was exiled from her rightful Duchy of Milan, she also explains how her late husband, the Duke of Milan, supported her in her secret studies

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