How does Mr. Doolittle's "success" act as a comic parallel to Liza's in Pygmalion?

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Mr. Doolittle is a dustman or garbage collector as the play opens. He is very poor. He is not married to Eliza's mother and can provide nothing for Eliza, who lives in a cold room on whatever she can earn as a flower seller. He is a shameless ne'er do...

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Mr. Doolittle is a dustman or garbage collector as the play opens. He is very poor. He is not married to Eliza's mother and can provide nothing for Eliza, who lives in a cold room on whatever she can earn as a flower seller. He is a shameless ne'er do well who likes to drink.

He has a sudden rise to the middle class that parallels Eliza's. Her rise comes from the stroke of good fortune of having Higgins tutoring her in the accent and manners of a middle class (rich but not aristocratic) lady. Mr. Doolittle's good fortune comes in the form of being singled out by a wealthy American philanthropist named Ezra D. Wannafeller to receive a stipend of four thousand pounds a year, a huge income in 1913 Britain.

While Eliza wants to improve herself, Mr. Doolittle is unhappy with what his new income forces him to do. He now has to marry his children's mother to be respectable. He has doctors are now after him to attend to his health when nobody before cared if he lived or died. Suddenly, too, relatives who had no interest in him when he was poor are flocking around, wanting money from him.

Even though Eliza is happier with her rise than Mr. Doolittle, the play questions what becoming a lady has done to her, as she is now no longer fit to work but only to find a husband. In both cases, success comes with a price.

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