THE REAPPRAISAL OF ?NATURE VERSUS NURTURE? DEBATE IN GEORGE BERNARD SHAW?S PYGMALION AND WILLY RUSSELL?S EDUCATING RITA*

Abstract

Author(s): Zennure K├ľSEMAN

This article explores the alluring association between George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (1914) and Willy Russell’s Educating Rita (1985) in respect to the mythic tale, Pygmalion in which “nature versus nurture” debate is reflected to demonstrate the significance of education on social ascendancy in life. Most writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Willy Russell depict the influence of transformation through education via the mythic tale Pygmalion in which Pygmalion, a sculptor, made a woman statue and prayed goddess Venus to transform it into a living person. Pygmalion’s requirement is influential on most writers while producing literary texts which portray education’s power on innate and hereditary qualities, i.e., personal insufficiencies can be transcended by educational activities and various personal experiences as reflected through the main female characters in Pygmalion and Educating Rita.

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