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Fate And Feminism

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Fate And Feminism

In both Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and The Kitchen God's Wife by

Amy Tan, the reader is pushed to understand the nature of feminists in

a new way. This purpose is carried out with the use of multiple

feminist characters, a drastic change in a characters outlook on their

situation, and the concept of making your own destiny. The

protagonists in both of these literary works is female, and they are

amazingly similar considering Shaw wrote Pygmalion eighty seven years

before The Kitchen God's Wife was published in 1991.

Both of these works use several feminist characters to help the reader

understand the theme. At the start of Pygmalion, Liza is 'quite a

common girl' (35, Shaw) and Higgins treats her as if she is a new toy.

He degrades her, calls her 'horribly dirty' (40, Shaw) and a

'draggletailed guttersnipe'. Once he decides that he wants to play,

once Colonel Pickering offers to pay for all of the expenses on a bet,

he tells Mrs. Pearce to 'take her away and clean her' (41, Shaw). Mrs

Pearce often fights on Liza's behalf during the play, which teaches

Liza how to stand up for herself as a lady would. Clara, a girl that

Liza meets later in the play at Mrs. Higgins is also a feminist

character. She tells her mother outright that she's too

'old-fashioned' (81, Shaw) and that 'nobody means anything by it' (81,

Shaw) when they are using 'the new small talk' (80,



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