Study Guide

Pygmalion Man's Power Over Woman

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Man's Power Over Woman

Pygmalion doesn't like the real women in his town, so what does he do? He chooses to custom-make one according to his own preferences. Naturally.

Predictably, he sculpts a woman who is young, smooth, and super-hot. She is also completely silent, so he can project all his fantasies onto her. Without a voice (or a consciousness, for that matter), the statue is whoever Pygmalion wants her to be.

The message here is that the best women are silent, obedient, and physically perfect. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, we still hear these things even today. But really, would you rather see an army of Barbie clones or a wide variety of women with different sizes, shapes, hair colors—and personalities?

Questions About Man's Power Over Woman

  1. Is Pygmalion's statue really the ideal woman? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think that this myth is sexist? Why or why not?
  3. Why does Galatea fall for Pygmalion and marry him? What does he have going on that sparks her interest?

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