Cloudstreet, Dolly Pickles Characterisation

April 21, 2018 General Studies

Her sexuality makes it difficult for the reader to form a bond with the character, which in result forces them to dislike her. Her sexuality and wild behaviors are shown in many circumstances through out the play, yet most strikingly when Dolly is introduced the first time. In Scene 2 Rose Pickles, Dolly’s daughter walks in on Dolly with an American Pilot she is having an affair with. After Dolly completely disregards Rose’s presence and Rose departs she expresses to the pilot “You Yanks are something.

Jesus Christ you’re something. I like the salt hen you sweat” and continues to “… Keep bucking. “. This demonstrates to the reader Dolly is very forward with her sensual attitudes towards men and her family. Her meaningless fornication with males is a continuous theme throughout the play and builds on her characterization. Readers are unwillingly brought to the conclusion that Dolly’s actions; including her numerous affairs are malicious towards her family, distinguishing her as an unpleasant and selfish wife, mother and person.

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Imagery is also shown with Dolly’s complete neglect towards her daughter Rose. When she walks in on her mother having an affair and she ignores her existence not only gives readers an image of Dolly’s lack of affection and love towards her family but her lack of distress when her real profane personality is revealed. Dolly Pickles is known not only for her sexuality, but also for her disloyalty towards her family, how badly she treats them and how she doesn’t seem to care very much about them at all.

Her disloyalty is shown in several instances throughout the play, for example when she leaves to go to the pub or when he expects her family to care for her when she has done nothing but the complete opposite towards them. Dolly was most disloyal to her husband Sam, and her daughter Rose, she was disloyal to Sam in almost every way possible, she went around and slept with any man that would take her and practically used him just so she had someone to come home to.

She was disloyal towards Rose in many ways, for example not doing anything about the fact that her daughter was practically scarred for life after walking in on her and the pilot, making her grow up faster than she should have to, taking re childhood away from her, not being a true mother for her daughter who needed her and making her the mother of the house, for example in scene 15 when Dolly “gives Rose the potatoes and goes”, it shows the reader that Dolly only cares about herself, to her nobody matters, it is only about her, it’s always only about her, and when it isn’t it doesn’t matter.

This forces the reader to feel sorry for everyone in Dolly’s life and to dislike Dolly for her hurtful actions towards her family. For all of Rose Pickles’ life Dolly was never affectionate, kind, loving, protective or sympathetic towards her. Rose’s attitude is filled with hate towards Dolly and a sense of abandonment from both her mother and father due to the lack of love and stability.


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