Bernard Shaw : Profiling his own ‘New Women’ in ‘Plays Pleasant’ and ‘Plays Unpleasant’
Shakuntala Mukherjee
Shaw, Man, Woman, Drama, Life, Art.
Shaw was successful to shake men’s beliefs to the foundation in all branches of life- be it science, philosophy, economics, theology, drama, music, art, novel, politics, criticism, health, education, and what not. George Bernard Shaw, who was regarded as a writer without a moral purpose at the beginning of his career in literary circles, is today looked upon as a profound thinker who saw the truth and revealed it through art. The brilliance of his dramatic technique and philosophy is aptly illuminated by his unconventional art and dramatic technique. Shaw through his drama brought things like realism and idealism, individualism and socialism, together. The ‘New Woman’ introduced by Shaw; was treated with contempt or fear as it discussed on the age-old assumptions on how a man or woman should be. One version of New Woman defied traditional codes of female beauty, smoking cigarettes and dressing in a simple and ‘manly’ fashion which seemed to complement her discontented mouth and a nose ‘too large for feminine beauty” but indicative of intelligence.’ (1) New Women were often perceived to be masculine in other ways too, ‘Sometimes devoting themselves to a profession or business in preference to the bearing and bringing up of children. Sometimes the New Woman was perceived to be freer in her dealings with men than custom allowed, and at other times a cold and ‘apparently sexless’ creature who rejected out of hand all relations with men.’ (2) The New Woman created intellectual panic in her function as what Carroll Smith – Rosenberg has called ‘a condensed symbol of disorder and rebellion.’ As Ann Ardis has pointed out the term ‘New Woman’ as : ‘…a way of naming, and thus controlling, a range of ongoing disruptions in the social understanding of gender.’ (3)
Article Details
Unique Paper ID: 151015

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 7, Issue 11

Page(s): 745 - 747
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