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

Dramatic Monologue Essay - Talking Heads

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Dramatic Monologue Essay - Talking Heads In reading Alan Bennett's selection of monologues I have analysed each character used. Having studied them closely I have gained respect for each character; in dealing with their myriad of individual, and sometimes shared, problems they each have still managed to live, what is to them if no-one else, full and relatively "normal" lives. But I have also developed feelings of sympathy towards one character in particular. With another I have developed an overwhelming lack of compassion. Bennett describes the character in "A Chip in the Sugar", a middle-aged man called Graham Whittaker, quite guardedly at first. The way that Bennett imparts information to his readers is very sporadic. In doing this he tends to deceive us a little, letting our own imaginations run wild about the truth behind the character, their real persona. This can make it difficult to trust the opinions, tone and actual basis of the monologue. Graham Whittaker is an unreliable narrator. He relates conversations had between his mother, her friend Mr Turnbull and himself with a rather self-pitying slant. He makes out that he was ignored and ridiculed by Mr Turnbull and his mother, who at the beginning of the monologue says how much Graham means to her. ...read more.

Middle

What is most disappointing about Graham is the appearance of happiness when he starts to find out that Mr Turnbull isn't all he says he is. Is this because he wants to feel needed/necessary to his mother? Or is it fear? Fear of going back to the hostel surrounded by people that he doesn't understand, "I sometimes feel a bit out of it as I've never had any particular problems," or is it something darker? Bennett hints at this at the end of the sketch when he writes of Graham's seeming indifference to his mother's pain. The structure of the last couple of paragraphs is a defiant tone, followed by relief from Graham. For his mother it is heartbreak followed by reluctant acceptance. All in all, a heart-wrenching finale for Mrs Whittaker without any support from her selfish, unstable son. After reading "A cream cracker under the settee" I felt so much sympathy for the character Doris. Bennett's telling of her plight gave me an insight into her pain and loneliness and elicited a feeling of terror. From the beginning we are given a view of Doris that is of a very proud and hardened old woman. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Doris sits by the front door, slowly giving in to the pain in her legs and, I expect, by this time further pain throughout her body from sitting on the floor for so long, I felt so much compassion for her and yet also a little happiness - would she be saved? Or would she be allowed to rest with her husband? As the sketch comes to a close the policeman comes to the door and asks Doris if she is ok. Being the proud lady she is she refuses to admit that she needs help. "No, I'm all right." As he walks back up the path we finally see what Bennett wanted us to see. That sometimes it is okay to be alone in the dark, because to let go and drift away to that feared, unknown place, ultimately you won't be alone anymore. I feel sympathy for Doris because she was alone. When she chose to die, there was no-one there to be with her, or talk to her. All she had was memories of her husband and the life they led together. The only person who would even know she was gone would be her Social Services appointed cleaner. "It's done with now." Access to Humanities - English Literature ...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. Discuss the Theme of Isolation and Loneliness In 'Talking Heads'.

    Although she remains a very formal character she becomes caring and compassionate towards others. "I'm so happy" Both Iris and Doris harp on about the past, when they were less lonely and isolated. Doris remembers "You could walk down the street and folk smiled and passed the time of day" Both of these are good examples of a paradox.

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

    She feels that she has failed because she is expected to be better than the average and she becomes dissatisfied with her life because of stupid things like she is unable to make jam and arrange flowers. She feels bad and incapable because all the other ladies can do it.

  1. Alan Bennett wrote 'A Lady of Letters' in 1987. It is a dramatic monologue ...

    She refers to the rule of novels, " then you can bank on it happiness is just around the corner," comparing this to her life, "whereas in life you can say you're never going to be happy and you never are happy."

  2. A Lady Of Letters Essay

    rest of her life like this and will not turn it around as it is too late to do anything about her loneliness or situation. When in prison Irene meets a woman called Bridget who has had a tragic past and Irene sees past this to help the woman.

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

    Back at the parish her husband the vicar, reveals he knows about her alcohol addiction, well him along with everyone else in the parish and uses it as leverage in his career. He makes her out to be a charity case of sorts.

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

    This is funny because she says "Big black hair in the sausage. So I wrote off to the makers enclosing the hair. Stuck it under a bit of sellotape. Little arrow: 'This is the hair.'" This is funny because instead of just writing a letter of complaint to the manufacturer,

  1. How is contemporary society portrayed in 'Talking Heads'?

    When the two first meet there is a sexual joke which relates to the past they had. "It must be fifty years." He said, "Fifty two. Filey. 1934." She said, "Sea Crest." He said, "No sand in the bedrooms". And they both cracked out laughing."

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

    She has been a prostitute on and off and did away with her kiddy, accidently when she was drunk and upset. Bonny little face, you'd never think it.' Also, the fact that she gets on with everyone contradicts her past in which she hardly knew anyone on her street; 'I'm friends with practically everyone though apart from Bridget.'

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