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

Examine Bennett's characterisation of Graham in

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine Bennett's characterisation of Graham in "A chip in the sugar" and Irene in " A lady of letters." How does Bennett's choice of the monologue form express their sense of isolation and reveal their weakness? Allan Bennett wrote a series of six monologues for television in 1987. We have been concentrating on two of these, "A chip in the sugar" and "A lady of letters". Even though the two stories are different there are many similarities between the characters, both characters are lonely and isolated from most human contact, with the exception of Grahams mother and Irene's social workers. Bennett wrote the stories in monologue form, which makes them interesting to read because they are written fully from the point of view of the main character and are therefor very biased bringing tragedy and comedy at the same time. You have to read between the lines to realise what is really happening in the lives of these troubled people. They never say they are lonely for example but they never talk of any friends or indeed conversation with other people. Graham from "A chip in the sugar" is a middle-aged man who still lives with his mother. He has lived with only a woman all of his life so some female aspects show through in him like doing the house work and the way he looks after his mother he seems to think he is the mother. ...read more.

Middle

Mr Turnbull doesn't really like Graham as he keeps making little remarks about him being mentally ill, like "I don't believe in mental illness". When Graham describes Mr Turnbull it brings out a comical element as you can hear Graham's prejudices, snobbery and jealousy. You have to use your imagination to think what Mr Turnbull is really like. Just like Graham from " a chip in the sugar", Irene from, "a lady of letters " is middle aged and lived with her mother. Irene is an old fashioned person and, like Graham, she doesn't know any other way of living, she has her own routine that she is set to and has stayed like that since her mother died. When Irene is bored she writes letters as like a hobby, she thinks she is doing good sending letters to the council and such, complaining about the standard of the streets and anything else she can kind to complain about. But in actual fact she is annoying everyone she writes to. Irene writes many letters because she is lonely and thinks that, by getting a reply its like she has a friend, the pen she writes with she also calls a friend, "its been a real friend" Irene is like Graham In many ways because both of them are quick to judge and are not very trusting, Graham with Mr Turnbull and Irene with the social workers. ...read more.

Conclusion

"This is the first taste of freedom I've has in years" it is better for her, having a mental illness, to have a structured life and she finally has some friends. When it comes to the social workers they are ineffective, as neither graham nor Irene take any notice of them, this is because with graham, Steve treats them like they are all children, and talks to them like they are simple, and uses catchphrases to try and get his point across, with Irene when the social workers come round she just thinks all they seem to answer is "me too" which for a person with mental instabilities she needs someone who listens to her and makes her feel as if they do care about her rather than as if her point is insignificant and it happens to everyone. This is how Bennet portrays them, he reveals this contempt for them, satire. I think that Allan Bennett was very clever by using a monologue as you hear one side of the story, if gets your imagination working better because you have to imagine what is really going on and see past the shallow view of the two characters. If we knew the truth and didn't only see what graham and Irene see then it would be uninteresting to read. ...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. Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues.

    I noticed that the two characters speak quite similarly and have a similar vocabulary of words; for example, they both refer to children as "Kiddies". THE ENDINGS OF THE MONOLOGUES How does each monologue end? 'A Lady of Letters' ends up with Irene in prison because her letters were a 'breach of the peace'.

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

    Alan Bennett uses another technique to keep the audience interested until the very end. He uses an unexpected happy ending. Miss Ruddock actually enjoys being in prison: 'This is the first taste of freedom I've had in years.' This is another twist in the plot which keeps the audience interested.

  1. lady of letters monologue

    By being imprisoned with others and being forced to talk face-to-face she has realised and it dawns upon her that there is such a thing as community and it's great to socialise and have friends. We see change in her straight away when it says ' she is a tracksuit,

  2. A Lady Of Letters Essay

    "Dreaming about the kiddy she killed... I... Hold her hand till she's off again".. It is ironic as she was previously so prejudiced against an innocent couple who she accused of child abuse yet in prison Irene manages to keep an open mind and hold a killer's hand in reassurance when she's going through a rough time.

  1. How does Alan Bennett mix comedy and tragedy? In two monologues look at structure, ...

    In 'Her Big Chance', the tragedy is similarly clear, but again not stated: "Then I saw the cat sitting there, watching the trout.' Go to black.' The pause adds dramatic effect, and moves the story along. The repetition of the idea of Lesley's promiscuous behaviour also adds to the tragic nature of the line.

  2. Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads" monologues are described as being 'short stories'. With reference to ...

    She said to Simon "Yacht? That's interesting, Simon. My brother-in-law has a small power boat berthed at Ipswich". When she tells us that he replied by saying "Well! Snap!" we as an audience know that he is being sarcastic as a yacht and a power boat aren't similar.

  1. The Pastons and Their England by H.S. Bennett is an interesting story about the ...

    William Paston that being educated in law would inevitably protect them and their possessions. For example, this belief is illustrated by Agnes Pastons letter which advises her sons to remember their father's advice "to think once [every] day of your father's counsel to learn the law...whosoever should dwell at Paston,

  2. A contrast and comparison of the two characters, Susan and Irene, in Alan Bennett's ...

    she doesn't have any friends and is lonely, forcing her to write letters in order to keep in touch with the outside world. Bennett presents Irene as a lonely woman with no family who is isolated behind the curtains of her bay window.

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