The Values Inherent In Bernard Shaw's Popular Play "Pygmalion" And The Acclaimed Movie "Pretty Woman" Portray A Close Relationship To The Cultures Of The Time Periods In Which They Were Composed

1002 words - 5 pages

Different cultures, whether this is because of geographical difference or a different time period, will have different perspectives of values. The values inherent in Bernard Shaw's popular play "Pygmalion" and the acclaimed movie "Pretty Woman" portray a close relationship to the cultures of the time periods in which they were composed. The value of gender and the concept of stereotyping are explored in each text. The larger proportion of the female characters are limited by stereotyping through the expectations of a Victorian England in Pygmalion however this value is has been somewhat transformed to depict more equal roles in society for women in "Pretty Woman". Morality and the process of ...view middle of the document...

In Pygmalion, morality is addressed through Mr Higgins' motives regarding Eliza. Pickering ensures "It's understood [by Higgins] that no advantage is to be taken of her [Eliza's] position". In other words he is not to induce any sexual relations with the girl. This is viewed as a disgraceful thing for any lady to be doing in the context of Pygmalion, however, in Pretty Woman, sex and sex oriented practices are very openly accepted. The concept that women should be available for sex off the streets in the manner of prostitution is morally wrong in the culture of Pygmalion, this is however, not so in Pretty Woman. The occupation of Vivian as a prostitute in Pretty Woman is widely accepted by its audience. Pygmalion represents a culture whereby women receive a high degree of respect as they are seen to be pure, whereas the culture in which Pretty Woman was composed, views women as objects of lust.The different cultures have different perceptions on the value of socio- economic status. The culture in which Pygmalion was composed values the lower class through the occupations they undertake in order to live. Pygmalion portrays this through Alfred Doolittle as a man "who has to dye his hair to keep his job as a dustman" and his daughter Eliza "a common flower girl". These occupations of the lower class are juxtaposed against the modern culture through Pretty Woman and Vivian's profession of prostitution on Hollywood Boulevard.The high class citizens of Pygmalion's culture are there because they have been born into a family who may own a large amount of land which generates income without having to do any work. This lack of work is shown through the text to be a world of social gatherings...

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