Who asked 'em to make a gentleman out of me? I was happy, I was free...now I'm tied, neck and heels.

Alfred P. Doolittle

Every time I watch My Fair Lady, as we did recently, I always feel bad for Eliza's dad, Alfred P. Doolittle. Here's a person totally satisfied and content with his life, and then society, in the form of Professor Henry Higgins, had to step in.

Alfred P. Doolittle, a character from George Bernard Shaw's renowned play "Pygmalion," which became the musical "My Fair Lady," embodies the essence of a carefree existence, unburdened by societal conventions or material aspirations. Doolittle's portrayal presents a stark contrast to the prim and proper characters surrounding him, offering a refreshing perspective on life's priorities.

Stanley Holloway
Getty Images

At first glance, Doolittle appears to be a quintessential ne'er-do-well, a dustman content with his lot in life. Yet, beneath his rough exterior lies a profound philosophy centered on the pursuit of personal freedom. Doolittle scoffs at the notion of middle-class respectability, preferring instead to revel in his own liberty, unencumbered by societal expectations or moral judgments.

Unlike his daughter Eliza, who seeks to improve her station through elocution lessons, Doolittle embraces his working-class identity wholeheartedly. He views wealth and social status as shackles that bind individuals to a life of servitude and conformity. Instead, Doolittle cherishes his autonomy, finding solace in the simple pleasures of existence, whether it be a pint at the local pub or a leisurely stroll through the streets of London.

Doolittle's philosophy challenges the prevailing attitudes of Shaw's time, which placed great importance on upward mobility and social advancement. While others strive for material success, Doolittle remains content with his modest means, rejecting the trappings of wealth in favor of a life rich in experiences and freedom.

Audrey Hepburn
Getty Images

But then, through what was a lark on the part of Higgins, Doolittle's life changes when as a result of being introduced to a philanthropist through Higgins, he is elevated in financial status, and those around him, including his live in but un-married companion, decide that he must now live a more respectable life. No more binge nights at the pub. No more carousing with buddies. And of course, the co-habitation relationship was no longer viable which lead up to the I'm Getting Married in the Morning performance.

Most tragic for Doolittle, no more freedom.

Now I am not advocating for endless nights of being in a drunken stupor, nor is this a endorsement for un-committed co-habitation. But, if Doolittle was happy being a rascal, and content in his life, and causing no harm to anyone, what's the problem? Why couldn't he have been left alone?

As you can see in the clip below, Doolittle had little enthusiasm for his now “elevated” status, and probably would have lived his days in bliss, even if some would consider that bliss ignorant.

Alfred P. Doolittle epitomizes the unencumbered life, free from the constraints of societal expectations and material desires. His philosophy serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of personal freedom and authenticity in a world obsessed with status and wealth.

I'll bet he would have been happier if he had been left alone.

12 Forgotten Movie Prequels

These prequels were made. Then they were forgotten. Or in some cases, people never knew they existed in the first place.

More From KSUB 590/107.7