English Standard Speech- Pygmalion

Topics: Academy Award for Best Actor, Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man Pages: 3 (797 words) Published: March 27, 2012
Alex Kell 12 Winchester
English Standard Speech
Distinctive Voice
Pygmalion and Rain Man

Distinctive voices give us a small insight into how we, as people, perceive and make judgments about each another. Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
In any relationship between two people, there will always be one who takes on the dominant role through Voice. It’s their choice of what they say and how they say it that gives insight into their character.

Some characteristics of voice that we take into account are register, range, accent, tone, volume and pitch. In a movie such as “Rain Man”, we hear the timbre of Dustin Hoffman’s flat, autistic monotone. In the play, Pygmalion, we are asked to provide for ourselves the sound of Eliza Doolittle’s cockney twang.

Through the study of ”Pygmalion”, and the 1988 film, “Rain Man, we can see how distinctive voice lead us to make judgments about the characteristics and capabilities of the characters and contribute to our understanding and appreciation of both texts. In Shaw’s Pygmalion, the function of voice is central to the exploration of issues such as class struggle and power struggles.

Through Higgins’s efforts to refine Eliza’s accent and manner, we see a snapshot of the balance of power that favors those with means and influence. Higgins’ motives for conducting this experiment reflect the judgment and manipulation that lower socio-economic parties , are subjected to by the upper crust. In the same way, we see that Charlie, who sees himself as being superior in intellect, identifies Raymond as being intellectually inferior. Ray’s expressionless and literal responses define his capabilities.

“Listen Ray, our Dad died. That means he’s not with us anymore. Did they tell you about that?” Ray: I don’t know
Charlie: You don’t know if they told you or you don’t know what death is? Ray: I don’t know”
Charlie’s voice is agitated, aggressive and unsympathetic towards his autistic brother. He has no...
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