Alfred Doolittle’s Lower Class Representation In Pygmalion

730 words - 3 pages

Alfred Doolittle's Lower Class Representation in Pygmalion Realist author George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion challenges England's upper class to realize the pointlessness of their flamboyant lifestyle and pokes fun at this society. Shaw writes to expose the differences in the lifestyles of the social classes and how different characters react to their status. Shaw uses Alfred Doolittle and his social status to depict a character that freely accepts his status and his reaction to eventually moving up social classes. Because of his dislike of "middle class morality", appreciation of and the freedom that accompanies his lower social status, and his eventual climb into the upper class, Doolittle presents a desire to remain in "undeserving poverty." Doolittle, throughout the play, demonstrates a dislike for "middle class morality." Before he becomes rich, Doolittle defines middle class morality as "an excuse of never giving me anything." Doolittle represents a dislike for middle class morality and wishes for "cheerfulness and a song" like those in the upper classes. Doolittle believes "middle class morality claims its victims." Eventually Doolittle becomes a "victim" when he is given money to lecture. Doolittle becomes apart of the upper class but dislikes being viewed as a member of this society. Doolittle says that he believes lower class men look at him and envy him. Doolittle says he, in fact, will look down to the lower class "helpless and envy them." Doolittle does not like the upper classes and "middle class morality." Throughout the play, Doolittle presents characteristics that suggest he accepts his current lower class social status and enjoys the freedom associated with his status. When asked by Colonial Pickering if he has no morals, Doolittle Stokes 2 establishes his status and distance from upper class characteristics by replying, "I can't afford them, Governor." Doolittle comments to Henry Higgins that "undeserving poverty is my line." Doolittle represents an individual who lives in poverty and accepts his current placement in society. He continues by saying, "I'm undeserving; and I mean to go on being undeserving." Doolittle does not want to be apart of the upper class society because so...

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