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A Cream Cracker Under The Settee And A Chip In The Sugar

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Craig Waters 23/11/07 Response to post - 1914 Literature talking heads series one by Allan Bennett. GCSE English Assignment "A Cream Cracker Under The Settee And A Chip In The Sugar" For my GCSE Assignment I am going to discuss two monologues which are written by Alan Bennett. Talking Heads is a series of dramatic monologues written for BBC television. The plays have also been broadcast on BBC radio and performed in live theatre. The reason I have chosen these two is that they were the ones I thought were the most interesting, and accessible, in my opinion. The main character in "A Cream Cracker under a Settee" is called Doris, and she is portrayed as a very lonely and judgmental old lady. The other monologue "A Chip In the sugar" is also portraying loneliness and selfishness in a different way; both of these monologues investigate serious human feelings and emotions. The characters in both monologues are brought to life, and as you read them you feel very involved in their lives. ...read more.


The monologues were written in the 1980s, and first published 1988. I do though feel that the settings are quite old fashioned, and could be set in the 1960s. The reference in A Lady of Letters to a 'transistor' is a very old term referring to a radio and is therefore much earlier than the 1980s. It is not a modern term at all used to describe a radio. This could be a reflection on Alan Bennett himself being quite a behind the times and an unfashionable person, or just that he is just 'stuck in the past'. These monologues definitely portray a different lifestyle and point of view than most people experience today. Alan Bennet, I feel, has taken a lot of ideas for these monologues from his life and people who he has met. I feel that the monologues have repetitive, recurrent and similar styles and are abbreviated stories about their past and present lives. Referring to a chip in the sugar the main character called Graham would not admit that he was as good as married to his mother. ...read more.


We know this by the quote "Zulema doesn't dust she half - dusts. I know when a place isn't clean." Doris is constantly in fear of being put in to an old people's home. She is constantly fighting for her independence which is fading fast. "I used to be able to reach only I can't now". This is a clear indication of her failing health. This story is very demoralising and disturbing and leaves you feeling quite empty. This quote reflects that "Her eyes close and she sings a little to herself. The song, which she only half remembers, is my Alice blue Gown." The end of the story is quite poignant because she decides she would rather die then be cared for by any body. The monologue called a chip in the sugar is about Graham a middle-aged man with a history of miles mental health disorders. He lives with his mother in Leeds and is hard done by. The sort of person who is environmentally aware. He is a typical Guardian reader, and he is not very modern. His life changes in a big way when his mother meets her old flame called Frank Turnbull. ...read more.

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