Distinctive Voices Essay- Pygmalion

Distinctive voices are an instrument that represents who we are and where we stand in society. Effective composers use these distinctive voices to reveal a broad range of issues in our society. George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion” and Daniel Keyes’, ‘Flowers for Algernon’, both use distinctive voices to reflect their ideas on societal issues, such as, disempowerment of women, and mistreatment of the mentally disabled. Shaw uses the distinctive voices of Eliza and Higgins as a vehicle to educate his audience, while Keyes uses Charlie to explore universal themes of discrimination and acceptance.

    In Bernard Shaw’s didactic play, ‘Pygmalion’, he presents many social issues that were common and of concern in early 20th century England. Shaw passes his views on the upper class of England through the authorial voice of Henry Higgins. ‘You disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns’ The distinctive voice of Higgins is defined by his offensive insults and tone. Here, Shaw has used the voice of Higgins to reflect his dissatisfaction of the elite upper class. Through Higgins, the elite upper class are conveyed as people who are arrogant and only think for themselves. The distinctive voice of Henry Higgins is used effectively as an authorial voice to reflect Shaw’s views on the class systems of early England.
    In Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw also explores the role of women in society. Through Eliza and Higgins, Shaw shares his views on how women are mistreated by men. Higgins uses lots of derogatory comments towards Eliza. ‘A women who utters such depressing and disgusting sound has no right to be anywhere.’ Shaw’s authorial voice in Henry Higgins shows how men of the upper class mistreated women of early England. Shaw also uses Eliza to express his thoughts on the treatment of women. Early in the text, Eliza’s distinctive voice is filled with solecisms, emotive tone, and lack of understanding of what is happening. ‘I aint done nothing wrong by speaking to...