Pygmalion Essay

Topics: Woman, Social class, Human voice Pages: 4 (1533 words) Published: July 13, 2011
The distinctive voices, characteristic in any text/s, can be deconstructed to develop an understanding which may validate, challenge or disprove society’s values and/or beliefs within a given context. Language, in all its forms, is a human thing, and allows the traces or imprints of human use, not inherently but in its use. A text may promote obvious distinction between the authorial voice and character's viewpoint. This can be seen in the play of Pygmalion in by George Bernard shaw and the film Pleasantville directed by Gary Ross. Both of these texts show distinctive voices through dialogue the use of dialogue which highlights the relationships and differences between characters. Pygmalion is a play in five acts. It is about a young woman named Eliza Doolittle who sells flowers on the side of the street. She is very poor and badly spoken. She meets Mr.Higgins who is a phonetician (an expert in the spoken English Language). In act 1 her distinctive voices described as needing to wash her hair, dirty compared to the other ladies and dressed in a shoddy coat and coarse skirt. Her social class is also revealed in her manner of speaking. She uses colloquial language, contracts words into one and has a distinct cockney accent. An example of this can be seen in her first line of the play:”There’s menner f’yer! Te-oo branches o voylets trod into the mad” In this line Eliza created a contraction “f’yer”. She also used the incorrect tense when she said ‘trod”. Some of her words are expressed using the phonetic alphabet to give the impression of how they would sound. While she does so another member of the lower class draws her attention to a who is making note of everything she says. Eliza became quite distressed because she was afraid that she was going to be accused of prostitution. Her distress is shown through her repetition of I’m a good girl” and her cries like ‘ah-ow-ooh”. Her reaction demonstrates her vulnerability as a young woman from the lower classes. She has...
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