And there is more to come:
Confrontation of Classes morality questions in Pygmalion In his play Pygmalion Bernard Shaw examines the affordability of middle class morality from a variety of perspectives and asserts that middle class morality is selfish, egoistic, restrictive and even hypocritical and hence not really affordable.
Alfred Doolittle, who is the writers voice in the play, states unequivocally that he cannot afford middle class morality as it constrains his free roaming spirit and prevents him from living his life fully. When he is declared to be the most original moralist at present in England Shaw, 70 and is thrust-- unwillingly--by Higgins into this middle class society, he suffers for it.
It is his lower class morality that is sharply contrasted with the middle class values of the Eynsford Hills, Colonel Pickering and the Higgins to show that middle class morality is really unaffordable. Doolittle at the start of the play is exploitative and unscrupulous and ready to exploit the middle class morality.
His awareness prompts him to approach Higgins with a simulated concern for his daughter that ill hides his intent to blackmail. He is sure that the middle class morality of Higgins will shrink from exposure and hence, is sure that his gambit would succeed.
However, when Higgins exposes his fraud, he is perfectly willing to sell his daughter for five pounds for Regarded as a young woman, she is a fine handsome girl. As a daughter she is not worth her keep Shaw He argues that he had growed her big enough to be interesting to the two gentlemen Shaw, 37 and therefore he deserved to claim his rights as her father.
While this leaves Pickering indignant and bristling with middle class righteousness, Alfred Doolittle is unrepentant.
He asserts that he cannot afford morality as morality is only the middle class excuse for never giving me anything.
Interestingly, the morality of Alfred Doolittle, Colonel Pickering and Professor Higgins are sharply contrasted in the play. Alfred belongs to the lower class and transitions gracefully into the middle class fully conscious of what he is giving up.
Higgins belongs to the middle class but does not even fit into it comfortably. He lacks manners and is not a gentleman. He is cold, selfish and ego centric. Higgins does not see Eliza as a woman or even a human being. She is just a bunch of squashed cabbage leaves, a creature Shaw, 70 to be transformed into a Duchess.
Colonel Pickering is the perfect middle class gentleman who treats even a flower girl like a duchess. At the end of the play, while Alfred Doolittles newly acquired sense of middle class morality prompts him to marry his missus, Higginss morality does not even attempt to recognize the fact that Eliza has feelings and that she is a human being worthy of respect for her achievements.
Even when he tries to persuade her to return, he is only conscious of his own needs and not hers. The middle class morality that Eliza acquires proves expensive to her. The character of Alfred Doolittle also draws the readers attention to the fact that the middle class is hypocritical.
Alfred Doolittle is perfectly happy about being part of the undeserving poor Shaw, He refuses to take ten pounds from Higgins as it will give him the responsibility associated with middle class morality and will destroy his sense of freedom.
Higgins is forced to demand of him Dont you have any morals man Shaw, 36 and Doolittle answers simply that he cannot afford it. Even when he transitions from the lower class to the middle class and dines with duchesses, he does not forget his roots and remains comfortable with their butlers too.
On the other hand, people like the Eynsford Hills are ashamed of their poverty and struggle to hide it. Clara runs after painters and artists and pretends that their poverty does not exist.
Though Freddy, keeps a flower shop with Eliza at the end of the play he remains Mr. Frederick Eynsford Hill, Esquire Shaw, 93 in private.I have noticed that having posted this blog in the latter part of Now with the BIG discussion on cuts in spending in the public sector relevant points of view not too dissimilar to my views on values are being aired because of the threat of closure of the public libraries across the country.
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Prince Charles plays Hamlet for Shakespeares th anniversary. Prince Charles joined top British actors live on stage in a surprise crack at playing “Hamlet”, as thousands of William Shakespeare fans packed The Bard’s hometown for the th anniversary of his death on Saturday.
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