Alfred Doolittle is a man of no morals and believes that life should be lived to the fullest. When we are first introduced to him in Act II, Shaw describes him as “an elderly but vigorous dustman” and “seems equally free from fear and conscience”. We find that he is a lazy drunk and used to beat Liza, his daughter.
He has neglected her, allowing her to make her own living. Then, as soon as he sees the chance of making money out of her, he tries to blackmail Higgins and eventually sells her for five pounds. He never shows any interest in her and does not care what happens to her. Liza also doesn’t care what happens to her father.
When we meet Doolittle again in Act V he is “dressed for a fashionable wedding”, in a morning suit and might even be the bridegroom.There is a vast contrast between Doolittle and Higgins. Higgins is very immature and is referred to as a “little baby” and has no manners. We know this because when Higgins goes to his mother’s at-home day, he doesn’t take his hat off inside, he says to one of the guests “you’ll do as well as anybody else” and swears in front of them.
Whereas, in Act V, when Doolittle realises he has forgotten his hostess he shakes her hand and exclaims “asking your pardon, maam”. Doolittle spends all his money on his drink and “keeping the missus sweet”, while Higgins has a lot of money so he doesn’t have to worry much about the amount of money he spends.Doolittle is also in “Pygmalion” to provoke thought. He has very strong views on marriage, the undeserving poor and the social classes, all these points make us think because it is another point of view.
Doolittle thinks that he has to be a slave to his missus because he isn’t married to her but when they get married she will have to be a slave to him. Doolittle also thinks he is one of the undeserving poor and wishes to be one of the undeserving poor. His aim in life is to do as little work as possible and enjoy himself as much as he can. Doolittle does not like middle class morality because he is satisfied with what he has.
He wants no worries or responsibilities. He has been married several times before, but cannot seem to keep a stable relationship.Doolittle is a very comic character in the play and is there to make us think but also laugh. For example, when he is annoyed that he is now a middle class gentleman because Higgins sent a sarcastic remark to an American millionaire about Doolittle being “the most original moralist in England”.
Doolittle blames Higgins for this even though he is going to be three thousand pounds richer.Alfred Doolittle is a very important character in the play; you see his views on things in contrast to Higgins, he also makes the play comical and you feel happy for him at the end.