The Lady's Not For Burning By Christopher Fry And Pygmalion

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The Collapse of Masculinity and its Consequences
Contrary to the common belief that one’s gender is biologically characterized by inherent traits, the concept of masculinity is a social construct that is taught and learned rather than inherited. Universally, masculinity has consistently been instilled in society through pressuring and socializing people to conform to characteristics and values that are associated with gender. In The Lady’s Not for Burning by Christopher Fry and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, both of the playwrights use the attributes and ideologies of the characters to demonstrate the frailty of masculinity and shed light on its overwhelming adverse effects on equality of men and women. In both plays, certain male characters exemplify masculine attributes, such as aggression, callousness, impulsiveness, ambition,
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These characteristics reveal the overwhelming control and influence of the masculinity forcing men to fit specific gender roles fostered by society’s ideals and indirectly causing women to submit to men and assume roles and traits that are seen as inferior. In Pygmalion, Henry Higgins demonstrates assertiveness and the desire for power through his obsessive compulsion to exert control over others. Higgins exhibits a manipulative puppeteer complex towards Eliza and only sees her as a mere toy. His perception of Eliza as a distraction from boredom is seen in his apathetic demands to Ms. Pearce, ordering her to “Take all her [Eliza’s] clothes off and burn them. Ring up Whiteley or somebody for new ones. Wrap her up in brown paper till they come,” (Shaw 16). Despite Eliza’s presence, Higgins acts as if Eliza is not there and is simply a

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