Novels, plays, or poems that deal with language transformation?I need a novel or a play that deal with language transformation like Pygmalion and Oliver Twist in which from the character's dialect,...

Novels, plays, or poems that deal with language transformation?

I need a novel or a play that deal with language transformation like Pygmalion and Oliver Twist in which from the character's dialect, you can identify the social class..if there are poems that used dialects, please let me know..

Thank You

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kmcappello's profile pic

kmcappello | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

What a fascinating topic, and some great suggestions above. Yusef Komunyakaa and Ai are wonderful poets who use dialect, and John Kennedy Toole's novel A Confederacy of Dunces is a great example of the New Orleans accent.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The works mentioned earlier Nell, Educating Rita, and The Miracle Worker are all good examples of transformation through language acquisition. You go on to mention, however, poems that use dialects. Dialect is used to convey characterization, socio/economic status, and etc. A great classic poem which uses dialect to convey characterization is Robert Frost’s “Death of a Hired Man.” The dialect in this poem emphasizes the simple New England nature of the characters--Mary and Warren.

lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is such an interesting question!  I can think of two movies and one play that have this theme.

First is Nell, which is about a "wild child" who is brought up without language and who is taken in by a married couple who transform her. This is a movie well worth watching just on general principles!   Second is Educating Rita, which is about class and language. You can find out more about both on imdb.

Finally, there is The Miracle Worker, which is the story of the education of Helen Keller.

In both The Miracle Worker and Nell, there is no class transformation, but a theme reflecting the transformative power of language to make us fully human.

It is possible that both Educating Rita and Nell were originally plays, but the movies are both excellent, and perhaps they might be acceptable for your quest.

Good luck to you!

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

I like the novel Great Expectations in which Pip transfigures his language in becoming a "gentleman." He changes his language and syntax in the end and there are many passages which can be highlighted to reveal this.

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