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Pickering: The Victorian Gentleman

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 752 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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Pickering the Victorian Gentleman:

In the play many characters changed as the play went on like Pickering. Pickering in the play seemed to be a gentleman around others and also treated them as a gentleman would treat them. But in act 4 the reader sees that Pickering is not the man he seems to act or look like. In act 4 the reader sees a switch from being a gentleman to a disrespecting man.

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The first example is in act 4 where pickering is talking to Higgins, another gentleman who turned out to be a disrespectful man as well, about Liza while she is right in front of them. This demonstrates that instead of acknowledging Liza which is in the room during the conversation he in fact ignores her and then proceeds to talk about her and not in a good way but in a bad way. Before this happened the reader can see that Pickering treats Liza with respect and dignity but now we see that he in fact disrespects her in a very rude way. In act 5 we see pickering acts different towards Liza by acting very respectful towards her. In act 5 he talks to her in a calm very gentleman like way while Higgins goes off on Liza for her attitude in the ending of act 4. In act 5 the reader sees that pickering acts nice and confident towards Liza to convince her to go back to Higgins house to finish what he started. This demonstrates that pickering can act nice towards her Liza by acting like a gentleman towards her.

Pickerings relationship with other characters like Higgin and Liza are respectful and very gentleman like. With Higgins he treats him like an acquaintance or like a friend but nothing more. The reader can see this in act 3 when mrs.Higgin tells her son Liza is not ready to be presented to the public in which in response both Pickering and Higgins both praise Liza for she has become. Another example of Pickering with Higgins is in act 2 where we see that Higgins does not have any personal feelings towards Liza but only professional feelings. Pickerings attitude with Liza is also respectful in a professional and kind way. An example of this is in act 2 where we see when Pickering offers to pay for all the lessons to Higgins for him to transform Liza from a corner street flower girl to a perfect speaking younglady worthy of being in a high class environment. Another example where we see Pickering being very gentleman like to Liza is in act 5 where Liza is talking to Pickering about how he has helped her build the self-respect she had by “Your calling me Miss Doolittle that day when I first came to Wimpole Street. That was the beginning of self-respect for me. And there were a hundred little things you never noticed, because they came naturally to you. Things about standing up and taking off your hat and opening doors….”

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During the victorian time majority of the men were gentleman or at least nice to other people. Pickering during this time found his role and responsibilities and played it well by being an almost perfect gentleman. The reader sees this in act 5 when Liza gave thanks to Pickering for being a gentleman and treating her like a lady. “Your calling me Miss Doolittle that day when I came to Wimpole Street. That was the beginning of self-respect for me.” Another way he showed a character that was nothing but a gentleman was when he offered to pay for the lessons that Liza would have to pay for herself with the money that Higgins threw at her in act 1. Pickering gave Liza the opportunity to turn into a high class woman with the ability to be around other high class woman and act like she belonged there. This illustrates that although Higgins only took it turning Liza to a high class woman as a joke, Pickering saw it as an opportunity to turn a flower girl to something much better and he gave her that option. In the victorian time the culture for men where either respecting women or not respecting them. Like in act 5 Higgins does not respect Liza when confronted about what happened in act 4 but when Pickering does confront her also in act 5 he does so in a manner that respects Liza in a way that does not insult her or disrespect her in any way.

In conclusion Pickering shows us that he was a gentleman through most of the play and does not disrespect her in any way because those are part of his values, that is how he treats the majority of characters, and during that time that was the culture at the time.


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