Pygmalion and Flowers for Algernon Essay

Interesting views on society are conveyed through distinctive voices.
Explore how this is achieved in your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Distinctive voices are conveyed through texts in the exploration of human experiences; composers convey their ideas and shape meaning through language; relationships and characteristics of voices are communicated through various texts. "Pygmalion" by Bernard Shaw and "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes can identify the interpretation of distinctive voices in order to challenge society’s values and beliefs. In both texts a strong authorial voice is presented. This is used to criticise society through recreating social and cultural perceptions to offer a didactic view on human behaviour. The composers incorporate an assortment of language techniques to develop an original character’s voice, enabling them to address issues such as education, class and displacement.

In Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw language techniques such as expressions, hyperboles and active voices are applied to develop the distinctive voice of the character Henry Higgins. Higgins is a strong intellectual power, Shaw is able to comment on society’s attitudes towards the less educated and explore how this can determines one’s class as well as limit their opportunities. When Higgins directly states “You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days.” An active voice is used to express that Eliza is inferior to him and to exhibit that language plays a key role in determining one’s class in the context of the play. Shaw incorporates satire to ridicule the artificiality of class distinction and to display the reality that without an education Eliza will be confined to her working class, limiting potential upcoming opportunities. The repetition of the word ‘English’, allows the authorial voice to be communicated as Shaw questions the high value placed on...