Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pygmalion And Class Distinctions

The populist tale of perfect fare dates from ancient Greece, a story about a sculptor, named Pygmalion, who falls in love with his statue creation. There are many versions of what happens next. For example, his pure and steady affection, rundown the help of the goddess Venus, transforms the statue into a live woman. They live happily invariably after.

George Bernard Shaws play, mounted in London in 1914, proposed a different telling of this story and its central creation legend. That myth is that one person can transform another person, ordinarily by magic or alchemy, and in fundamental ways, to chance on a sort of perfection.

The linguistic twist in Shaws story is that the linguistics professor, Henry Higgins, challenges his friend, Colonel Pickering, with a bet that he can pass off Eliza Doolittle, a good and liberal woman from the lowest course of London society, as a respectable member of the most elevated upper class society.

The story of Pygmalion is of Eliza Doolittle, a woman with a bad bear witness, who is taught the brotherly register. In the happy ending of the story, she has hit all the function notes. She has achieved the best register.

Henrys chief and central contrivance is to improve the way Eliza speaks her vowels and expresses herself.

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He sees the construction of accent and register as the key to adapting to society. He delights in it, How frightfully arouse it is to take a human being and change her into a quite different human being by creating a new speech for her. Its filling up the deepest disconnectedness that separates class from class and soul from soul. Henry sees the training as an fire experiment in linguistics and a mo of a prank. We can also see it as an interesting example of how English works, coincidentally, the title of an important textbook.

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