Andrew Bernard Shaw 's Pygmalion And Garry Marshall 's Film Pretty Woman

1386 Words May 17th, 2015 6 Pages
George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion and Garry Marshall’s film Pretty Woman both thoroughly explore values of society, each expressed through their unique contexts, language features and mediums. The central social values explored by these two texts are patriarchy, capitalism, and social class structure and hierarchy. Both texts utilise a combination of varying discourses, and language and film features in order to establish these central values.
First performed in 1913, Pygmalion was written by Shaw with the purpose of creating a work which differed from many plays of the time. He directed this play at an audience with intent on raising awareness, presenting his didactic critique on social values including the class structure of England of the time. Through Shaw’s effective use of character, he is able to convey values of the rigidity of social class structure. Henry Higgins, an upper class character in Pygmalion, primarily demonstrates these traits, as his behaviour and attitude is a result of a satirical representation of the upper classes of England. Higgins’ character is arrogant and lacking in empathy, suggesting the separation between the upper and lower classes and the clear division in this system. An example of Higgin’s dialogue is, when addressing Eliza’s future, “back in the gutter”. This disrespectful attitude towards Eliza in contrast with other characters also suggests the notions of superiority and power associated with the upper class, outlining Shaw’s…

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