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

'Doris is just a moaning old woman.' How does Alan Bennett manage to maintain our sympathy for Doris during this monologue?

Extracts from this document...


Hannah Woolerton 'Doris is just a moaning old woman.' How does Alan Bennett manage to maintain our sympathy for Doris during this monologue? In play 'A Cream Cracker Under the Settee' Alan Bennett uses many techniques and dramatic devices to make his script seem real, believable, and also enjoyable. I am going to study the statement, 'Doris is just a moaning old woman.' I will then investigate and explore how Bennett manages to maintain our sympathy for the lead protagonist in the script, Doris. I will cover many points such as Doris' relationships, the use of the cameras, lighting, music and other significant techniques he uses to gain his audiences interest and to uphold their sympathy for Doris. Firstly, one of the main things Bennett does that creates sympathy is that he creates a believable and emotional past for Doris. By using this past we can also compare and relate her to real old people, which, because we may know old people in her position, makes us already begin to sympathise with Doris. She is a stereotypical old person. We find out many sad things about Doris the first being that her long term partner, soul-mate and husband Wilfred died quite a few years ago, therefore she is a widow; 'Well he's got a minute now bless him.' We feel sorry for Doris after finding out about Wilfred, however later in the script we are then told about another major tragedy that's happened to Doris in her past, which further adds to our sympathy for her. ...read more.


We already know that Doris has no family left and that's upsetting for an old person, however Doris doesn't even have friends, she is totally alone, 'we were always on our own Wilfred and me. We weren't the gregarious type.' This indicates that Doris is almost excusing their lonely lives, and in a way pretending and trying to convince herself that it was ok, this is very sad. In the past when Doris had Wilfred she didn't see the need to have friends, consequently once he died she was left with no one. Although Doris may have been satisfied with being alone, she now longs for a friend or caller. Doris therefore tried to keep track of her neighbours as it gave her a sense of control and also made her feel comfortable in the knowledge that there were people around her she could call on if she was ever in trouble. But Doris explains that she no longer knows them, as a result there is no one left to help, 'Don't know anybody round here.' Bennett has formed a very lonely and isolated world for Doris and at one part in the script we find out that she is so alone that she even wishes for a leaflet distributor or random caller to talk to she is also in desperate need of help, 'It never is a bona fide caller, I never get a bona fide caller.' ...read more.


Using blackouts means that for one, Doris retains her dignity and two gives the audience a chance to assimilate their thoughts so far. Lastly it's the different shots and camera angles that create sympathy. At important moments when Doris speaks the camera zooms in very close to her face. It does this to show every emotion she is feeling by giving us a chance to explore her facial expressions and movements. We also get a chance to see her age more clearly; we can see every line and wrinkle. Zooming in on her face is very important for an audiences understanding of the play. Again we only get a close up when Doris is either very emotional or when she is talking about something very significant. At one scene in the play Doris is sitting at the bottom of the stairs. She is in an emotional state as she is talking about her son John. The camera shoots from above Doris so that we are looking down on her. This makes Doris look small, helpless and vulnerable and the audience feel very sorry for Doris. The aerial view also cuts to close ups on her face at this point to add variety and so we can see her feelings. The use of camera angles let us see things from different perspectives and makes us consider and think about what Doris is saying. It is each of these things when put together to create the whole dramatic piece that makes the audience feel sympathy for Doris right the way through the play. ...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. How does Alan Bennett mix comedy and tragedy? In two monologues look at structure, ...

    In 'Her Big Chance' the plot looks to be leading in the direction of the film being poor, although it is also structured so that the audience is unsure. This uncertainty is practically dismissed when Scott says to Lesley: 'The film's coming out in West Germany initially, then Turkey possibly.'

  2. 'In his Talking Heads plays Alan Bennett presents vivid portraits of human frailty and ...

    and he is also very sexist towards her and the ladies within the parish. "The ladies, where would we be without them? Also when she is talking to her husband she avoids answering certain questions particularly when it comes to sex, and Graham automatically assumes that she wants to do things and decides on her behalf.

  1. To what extent can we trust Wilfred, in Alan Bennett's 'Playing Sandwiches'

    We also discover the answer to an early uneasy statement; 'Little Rosalie's playing in the yard, throwing her ball against the wall, clapping her hands and lifting her leg to throw the ball under, all that. When she stops she comes and sits on the step and I say, "I

  2. 'Write a critical appreciation, in which you compare at least two of Alan Bennett's ...

    The present and future affair with Ramish, Ramesh is where she finally finds some happiness and it's not at all where she expected it. With Doris, Bennett has cleverly created a well developed, complex, interesting and hilarious character. Her sarcastic sense of humour 'Cracked the photo.

  1. "One character talking to a camera for half an hour, Do you call that ...

    This is a serious part in the video, because she says that he goes into one of the houses opposite Irene's house, and stays there for at least an hour before coming out. She then mentions that when he does come out, the woman who lives there comes out in a short housecoat thing.

  2. How does Alan Bennet Maintain Readers Interest

    What Bennett is trying to show us and highlight, is the flaws of modern day society. As Irene was explaining, the community was a lot more welcoming and supportive a short while ago, however that fails to be the case today.

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

    This shows her to be nosy and inconsiderate of other's business and privacy, furthermore, she is prejudging them when she does not know enough about them to make such comments. Moreover, Miss Ruddock is displayed to be very stubborn. She thinks she is always right and in some cases lacks to show normal reactions or emotions.

  2. lady of letters monologue

    This also means that people were labelled and judged by their political interests, something which Miss Ruddock frequently does. Alan Bennett also adds on different characteristics and personality hints through the play thus always altering our opinion of her. At first we see her as a lonely old woman who

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