• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Cream Cracker Under the Settee

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Cream Cracker Under the Settee How does Alan Bennett reveal Doris' character, life and attitude in the dramatic monologue "a cream cracker under the settee"? Many of Bennett's characters are unfortunate and downtrodden, as in the Talking Heads series of monologues that was first performed at the Comedy Theatre in London in 1992, and then transferred to television. This was a sextet of poignantly comic pieces, each of which portrayed several stages in the character's decline from their initial state of denial or ignorance of their predicament, through their slow realization of the hopelessness of their situation, to a typically bleak Bennett conclusion. The dramatic monologue, "a cream cracker under the settee" is from that group of six. It is from the point of view of an elderly lady called Doris, who is insistent that the world of her time is much better then the present. She dwells on the past and tells of how things were back then, and how it has changed for the worst. She had fallen while cleaning a picture of her husband Wilfred and most of the monologue is from Doris sitting on the floor in her living room where she fell. ...read more.

Middle

therefore she takes it upon herself to do it, even though it has been "forbidden" be Zulema. Most probably in Doris' case, even if Zulema had cleaned thoroughly, it would not be good enough for Doris because accepting that Zulema can do it would mean that she would not have to do it, Therefore taking away her independence. When Doris and Wilfred were younger they were said to of had a baby which had died at birth, when the baby had died the nurse had raped it up in newspaper, and in Doris' eyes she associated this with being "dirty". This reveals how Doris does not want her child to have anything to do with anything dirty, even though it is dead, showing her concern. Doris did not want to allow her husband Wilfred to have any hobbies which may involve mess. She is very concerned about what other people may think about her not being absolutely spotless, for example when the leaves from next door blow into her garden, "I ought to put a sign on the gate, not my leaves" this shows how much other peoples opinions matter to Doris, showing that she is neurotic. ...read more.

Conclusion

Doris doesn't feel she needs to be looked after because she believes she is not senile. At this point though she contradicts herself as when a police man comes to check everything is alright she says it is and sends him away, "police man: are you alright? Doris: No. I'm all right." This shows how Doris would rather die then loose her independence as she does not want anyone to think that she cannot take care of herself. This also shows how she has worked herself into a state of mind where she cannot allow herself to give in to the hardship of old age, and refuses to except anyone's help, this could also be because she is embarrassed about the situation she has got herself into. At the end of the monologue the last stage directions are "light fades" this shows how they are suggesting that Doris' life has come to an end and she has given up, you can also take this view from her last line, "never mind. It's done with now, anyway." This leads us to the conclusion that Doris has given up, and knows it is time for her life to end, and that it is "done with now". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Alan Bennet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Alan Bennet essays

  1. “A cream cracker under the settee” - Production Analysis

    See if I can't put the kettle on. Come on leg. Wake up." The audience see Doris trying her hardest to lift her self off the chair as she is speaking. The music in this scene is very lonesome and adds feeling to the scene, mainly the feeling of sympathy towards Doris.

  2. Modern Drama - Talking Heads

    Following the letter to the neighbours she is given a warning from the police that she will be put in prison if she sends any more letters but she defies this warning when she writes a letter about the policeman in her street who she believes has been having an affair whilst on duty.

  1. In A Lady of Letters how does Alan Bennett sustain the audiences interest in ...

    I can type like the wind.' This shows that she is much more excited than before about her life. We can see here that she now uses informal language when talking perhaps because she is more comfortable with whom she is; she does not need to make herself sound formal or superior.

  2. How does Bennett arouse our sympathy for Doris in "A Cream Cracker under the ...

    "Have to have a surreptitious go with the Ewbank. Doris. The ewbank is out of bounds." Although Doris would not mock Zulema to her face, her witty humour is captured as she mocks Zulemas demeaning ways. This works especially well in the production as the tone in her voice changes as she mocks their patronising ways.

  1. Talking Heads monologue - I will be talking about how Doris, one lady from ...

    Like when she complained to the council about a curb being cracked, little things like this are quite amusing to see such an intelligent women making a fuss. Irene and Doris also have some things in common. They both have lost loved ones in their lives.

  2. Talking Heads

    quick judging, ''She can't be more than twenty and by the look of her she's expecting another.'' This may suggest that the activity in the neighbourhood is not to her liking. In such shows as 'The office' whose main character is Brent, we see a lot of symbolism and similarities, which relate to Alan Bennett's Lesley and Irene.

  1. Consider the dramatic effectiveness of Alan Bennett's 'A Cream Cracker under the Settee'.

    Doris: I was having a nap, sorry." This shows that she is too stubborn and independent to let the policeman help. She does not want to surrender her independence. This is dramatic as she needs help but won't let anyone help her. The audience feels sorry for her but possibly angry.

  2. How does Alan Bennett reveal the character of Doris in 'A Cream Cracker under ...

    Although Doris knows that she has been forbidden from cleaning she blatantly defies Zulema and dusts, however she falls and hurts her leg. Doris then "shoves" the duster down the side of the chair. The word "shoves" is a connotation of Doris' fear.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work