Mildred’s Aunt: Character Analysis in The Hairy Ape

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      Mildred’s Aunt is the true specimen of the capitalist class. She is pompous and proud. She is a type even to the point of a double chin and lorgnettes. She is dressed pretentiously; as if afraid her face alone would never indicate her position in life. She is a surface character devoid of any depth and integrity. She is highly self-centred and complex-ridden. She is anti-romantic who is least fascinated by the beauty of Nature.

      The Aunt is the symbol of life of artificiality, affectation and false glamour. She is conscious of her racial superiority and looks down upon those who are socially inferior to her. Unlike Mildred, she is never keen to know how the other half lives in the society. She approves of the exploitation of the poor by the rich in a capitalistic set-up. She is a whimsical character who thinks smoking pipe is a sign of vulgarity. She is fully satisfied with her life and loves the life of luxury and exhibitionism.

      The Aunt has no doubts about the real judge of Mildred’s character. She knows that Mildred is good for nothing and would ‘drag the name of Douglas in the gutter’ for her foolish social acts.

      She is also critical of her pose of eccentricity. She tauntingly calls her a ‘poser’ and doubts her social credentials. She has doubts about her sincerity and advises her to be as artificial as she is while interacting with workers in the stokehole.

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