Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw and Satire

Document Sample
Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw and Satire Powered By Docstoc
					Pygmalion, George Bernard
Shaw and Satire
   An Overview of the History,
   Literature and Styles
    GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
 born in Dublin, Ireland in 1856
 In 1950, Shaw fell off a ladder while
  trimming a tree on his property
  outside of London, and died a few
  days later of complications from the
  injury, at age 94
               SHAW INFLUENCES

   Shaw first worked as an art critic, then
    music critic, and finally, from 1895 to 1898,
    as Theatre Critic for the Saturday Review.
   founded the Fabian Society, a socialist
    political organization dedicated to
    transforming Britain into a socialist state
    through education.
   The Fabian society would later be
    instrumental in founding the London School
    of Economics and the Labor Party.
               SHAW INFLUENCES

   The outbreak of war in 1914 changed Shaw's
    life. For Shaw, the war represented the
    bankruptcy of the capitalist system and a
    tragic waste of young lives, all under the
    guise of patriotism.
   He expressed his opinions in a series of
    newspaper articles which proved to be a
    disaster for Shaw's public stature: he was
    treated as an outcast, and there was even
    talk of his being tried for treason.
        PYGMALION – THE MYTH
   Pygmalion was a sculptor from Cyprus who
    had no interest in the local women. He found
    them immoral and frivolous. Instead, he
    concentrated on his art until one day he ran
    across a large, flawless piece of ivory and
    decided to carve a beautiful woman from it.
   When he had finished the statue, Pygmalion
    found it so lovely and the image of his ideal
    woman that he clothed the figure and
    adorned her in jewels. He gave the statue a
    name: Galatea, sleeping love.
   He found himself obsessed with his ideal
    woman so he went to the temple of
    Aphrodite to beg for a wife as perfect as his
    statue.
     PYGMALION – THE MYTH

 Aphrodite was curious so she visited
  the studio of the sculptor while he was
  away and was charmed by his creation.
  Galatea was the image of herself.
 Flattered, Aphrodite brought the statue
  to life.
 When Pygmalion returned, he found
  Galatea alive, and humbled himself at
  her feet. Pygmalion and Galatea were
  wed.
     HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF
              THE PLAY
 World War I
 Queen Victoria characterized the times
  with a set of values called
  Victorianism which revolved around:
   "social high-mindedness,
   domesticity, and
   a confidence in the expansion of
    knowledge and the power of
    reasoned argument to change
    society."
     HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF
              THE PLAY
 During the 19th century, many more
  Englishmen could vote.
 This also brought the introduction of
  women's suffragette organizations.
 Increased political participation further
  prompted a shift in gender roles.
 The new woman - increasing numbers
  of women in the work force, as well as
  reforms to divorce laws and other
  impacts upon domestic life.
     PYGMALION – THEMES

 Language – Nature of it, connection to
  perception of the speaker, etc.
 Social Roles – are they innate; can
  they be taught?
 Human Evolution – Fixed or ever-
  changing?
 Manners – Important or Ridiculous?
     PYGMALION – THEMES


 Roles of the Sexes – What does it
  mean to be a “lady” of society? A
  “gentleman” of society?
 Class Distinctions – What purpose do
  they serve? How are they maintained?
 Personal Identity – Is one what society
  perceives one to be or something
  controlled by the self?
 Idealism – What drives human acts?
     PYGMALION – BASIC PLOT

 Pygmalion is a comedy about a
  phonetics expert (Henry Higgins) who,
  as a kind of social experiment,
  attempts to make a lady out of an
  uneducated Cockney flower girl (Eliza
  Doolittle).
 Pygmalion probes important questions
  about social class, human behavior,
  and relations between the sexes.
         PYGMALION – CHARACTERS

   Henry Higgins - a phonetics expert and a
    scientist who loves anything that can be studied
    as a scientific subject. His enthusiasm for the
    study masks his human qualities.
   Eliza Doolittle - an uneducated, streetwise
    Cockney flower girl. Her intelligence allows her to
    recognize her self-worth and the worth of others.
   Alfred Doolittle - Eliza's father, "an elderly but
    vigorous dustman..." who can borrow money from
    his most miserly friends. Doolittle describes
    himself as "the undeserving poor".
   Mrs. Higgins - Henry Higgins's mother, kind,
    sympathetic, understands those she encounters
    well. She is the gracious lady of the house.
     PYGMALION – CHARACTERS

 Frederick Eynsford Hill - Eliza
  Doolittle's young suitor from the upper
  class. Freddy shows complete devotion
  throughout the play.
 Miss Clara Eynsford Hill - sister of
  Freddy, very comfortable in society,
  though without the wealth to actually
  support the lifestyle.
 Mrs. Eynsford Hill - mother of Freddy
  and Clara, very socially conscious and
  interested in those people her children
  associate with.
        PYGMALION – CHARACTERS

    Nepommuck - Henry Higgins's first
    language student, adept in several
    languages.
   Mrs. Pearce – Henry Higgins housekeeper,
    a practical, proud woman. Mrs. Pearce is not
    afraid of Henry, but conscious of her middle
    class status.
   Colonel Pickering - An acquaintance of
    Higgins who has lived in the British Colonies
    in India and become very adept at the Indian
    dialects. Pickering becomes the caring, kind
    voice in Higgins scientific experiment. He
    views Eliza Doolittle as a person worthy of
    respect.
              SATIRE
 Satire  defined: A writing
 designed to make readers
 criticize themselves, society,
 human foolishness and
 weakness, human vices and
 crimes, or anything the writer
 is dissatisfied about in general.
        ELEMENTS OF SATIRE

1. Satires do not offer suggestions,
   they simply point out what is
   wrong with society and people.

2. Satires expose errors and
  conditions society no longer
  notices because we have grown
  to accept them or ignore them.
     ELEMENTS OF SATIRE

SATIRE IS PERSUASIVE WRITING AND
   USES THE FOLLOWING APPEALS:
1. Logical Appeals – Supporting a
   position with evidence, facts or
   statistics.
2. Emotional Appeals – Using words that
   create strong feelings in the reader.
3. Ethical Appeals – A text that
   establishes the writer as sincere and
   qualified to make such remarks.
         SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:

1. EXAGGERATION
    – To make a
    person’s
vices or beliefs seem
    ridiculous and
unattractive, satirists
    will exaggerate,
    often to the point
    of hyperbole.
       SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:

2. UNDERSTATEMENT – Making shocking
Statements seem casual to emphasize how
common the practice has become.
     SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:

3. IRONY – Satirists use four types:
a. VERBAL IRONY – Sarcasm
b. SITUATIONAL IRONY – A contrast
between what is expected and what
actually happens.
c. DRAMATIC IRONY – Contrast between
what a character and what the reader
knows.
D. Cosmic irony - it seems that God or
fate is manipulating events so as to inspire
false hopes, which are inevitably dashed.
    SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:

.
     SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:
4. INVECTIVE: describes very abusive,
usually non-ironical language aimed at a
particular target (e.g., a string of curses or
name calling). Invective can often be quite
funny, but it is the least inventive of the
satirist's tools. A lengthy invective is
sometimes called a diatribe. The danger of
pure invective is that one can quickly get
tired of it, since it offers limited
opportunity for inventive wit.
    SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:
4. INVECTIVE:
     SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:
5. Caricature:
Exaggerating for comic
and satiric effect one
particular feature of the
target, to achieve a
grotesque or ridiculous
effect. Refers more to
drawing than it does to
writing (e.g., the political
cartoon).
     SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:
6. Burlesque: Ridiculous exaggeration in
language which makes the discrepancy
between the words and the situation or the
character silly. For example, to have a king
speak like an idiot or a workman speak like
a king.
      SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:
7.Parody: A style which
   deliberately seeks to
   ridicule another style.
   This may involve, in less
   talented parody, simply
   offering up a very silly
   version of the original.
   In more skilful parodies,
   the writer imitates the
   original very well,
   pushing it beyond its
   limits and making it
   ridiculous.
    SATIRICAL TECHNIQUES:
8. Reductio ad absurdum: A popular
satiric technique (especially in Swift),
whereby the author agrees enthusiastically
with the basic attitudes or assumptions he
wishes to satirize
and, by pushing
them to a logically
ridiculous
extreme, exposes
the foolishness of
the original
attitudes and
assumptions.