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Alan Bennett's purpose in writing

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Introduction

'A Cream Cracker Under The Settee' Essay Alan Bennett's purpose in writing "A Cream Cracker Under The Settee" is to highlight the problems old people face. He points out that obsession with hygiene can be destructive "I never should have tried to dust." Everytime the old lady cleans she gets into trouble. He criticises society for neglecting the old "Home help. Home hindrance." Years ago people used to respect the old, look up to them. But now they get swept under the carpet and forgotten about. Bennett also highlights the lack of communication in society "Don't know anybody round here now. Folks opposite, I don't know them." Neighbours used to look out for each other, but now there seems to be less and less interaction because people go out and don't bother with them, long gone is the tight-knit community of the past. It seems that her obsession with housework has been a substitute for a child, she has never got over the fact that she lost her and Wilfreds child. She would not have coped with the mess of a child. The cleaning aspect of the monologue is to teach us that real life is messy and cannot be tidied. ...read more.

Middle

There is evidence of serious neglect in English care homes. Under cover investigators have given statements which included "...She was black and blue all over her face...";"...the clothes stank of urine and excrement. This is obviously important to old people because they are either at these care homes or will go to one in the near future. This is not the kind of environment we should be sending old, vulnerable people to. When it comes to medication, 57% of care homes were found to be failing - homes were found not to be keeping proper records of medication given. In some cases medication was not stored properly. Also, 30% failed to meet the 'protection from abuse' standard, which is meant to ensure that residents are safeguarded from physical, financial or material, psychological, sexual abuse, neglect, discriminatory abuse or self harm, inhuman or degrading treatment, deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance. The old lady has an abundance of friends, she hasn't got one single person to call her friend. This shows a major breakdown in communication in society. Bennett uses a lot of pauses to build up tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes tension because we don't know what has happened to Doris, we can only guess. Alan Bennett's Monologues are primarily to reach out and touch people's emotions. The part that touched me the most emotionally was the fact that she was alone. She didn't have anyone. No family. No friends. It worries me that in this society old people are just ignored and forgotten about. Swept under the carpet. The old lady lost everything she loved. Her beloved husband Wilfred, her stillborn child, even her ability to clean her own house. Old people don't have any dignity these days. They are at the bottom of the list. People are narrow minded and think that old people are going to die soon so what's the point in bothering with them. I think that in society old people should be given better pensions, taken from government taxes. Bennett monologue opens our eyes to the true feelings of old people today. This highlights the fact that their lives are not all rosy and perfect as some of them appear to be. This poem makes us think that some old people's lives are made so hard that they would potentially take their own life. Joanne Fenner ...read more.

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