The Pygmalion, By George Bernard Shaw And The Film Pretty Woman

1629 Words May 14th, 2015 7 Pages
Year 11 English Extension 1 Task
Critical Essay: Appropriation of a Key Text

HOW HAVE THE TEXTS YOU HAVE STUDIED EXPLORED SOCIAL VALUES?
Isabel Xu (Giuffrida) As appropriations of the Pygmalion myth, the play Pygmalion (1913) written by George Bernard Shaw and the film Pretty Woman (1990) directed by Garry Marshall utilise different text form as a medium to deliver criticism and commentary on the traditionally defined gender roles and the basis of making class distinctions in their respective contexts. It is through the choice of text genre, the form of medium by which the values are challenged or embodied, that this exploration is achieved. Pygmalion, set during the Edwardian age, takes form of satire to critique traditionally defined gender roles and the basis for making class distinctions. Comparatively, while Pretty Woman reveals sustained gender and class concerns as in Pygmalion, its values have shifted such that gender archetypes and markers of class have evolved to the standards of the modern capitalist society, and are perpetuated as opposed to being critiqued in the story, as a romantic comedy. Pretty Woman diverges its purpose from social criticism, as in Pygmalion, to producing conventional entertainment.
Both Pygmalion and Pretty Woman question the traditionally defined gender roles in their respective societies by empowering and highlighting the independence of the lead female. However, whilst Pygmalion suggests that relationships are not necessary to a…
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