A monologue from the play "Pygmalion" by George Bernard Shaw

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About this Monologue

  • Character: Alfred Dolittle????
  • Gender: Male
  • Age Range(s): Adult (36-50), Senior (>50)
  • Type of monologue / Character is: Persuasive, Descriptive, Lamenting, Frustrated
  • Type: Serio-comic
  • Year: 1912
  • Period: 20th Century
  • Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy
  • Description: Mr. Doolittle asks Higgins for money
  • Location: ACT II

Summary

The story is set in Victorian London. Mr Higgins is a professor of phonetics who bets against his friend Colonel Pickering that he can teach a Cockney speaking flower girl, Eliza Dolittle, to speak like a duchess in a few months. He plans to take her to high London society parties and make people believe that she is actually a duchess. Eliza moves in Higgins' house and starts her lessons. In this scene Eliza's father, Alfred Dolittle, an elderly and poor dustman, shows up at Higgins' house to demand to have his daughter back. When Higgins agrees Eliza's father confesses that he is actually there just to ask for some ...

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Excerpt

DOOLITTLE: Don't say that, Governor. Don't look at it that way. What am I, Governors both? I ask you, what am I? I'm one of the undeserving poor: that's what I am. Think of what that means to a man. It means that he's up agen middle class morality all the time. If there's anything going, and I put in for a bit of it, it's always the same story: 'You're undeserving; so you can't have it.' But my needs is as great as the most deserving widow's that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband. I don't need less than a deserving man: I need more. I don't eat less hearty than him; and I drink a lot more. I want a bit of amusement, cause I'm a thinking man. I want cheerfulness and a song and a band when I feel low. Well, they charge me just the same for everything as they charge the deserving. What is middle class morality? Just an excuse for never giving me anything. Therefore, I ask you, as two gentlemen, not to play that game on me. I'm playing straight with you. I ain't pretending to be deserving. I'm undeserving; and I mean to go on being undeserving. I like it; and that's the truth. Will you take advantage of a man's nature to do him out of the price of his own daughter what he's brought up and fed and clothed by the sweat of his brow until she's growed big enough to be interesting to you two gentlemen? Is five pounds unreasonable? I put it to you; and I leave it to you.



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