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

How believable did you find the transformation of Miss Ruddock in Prison?

Extracts from this document...


How believable did you find the transformation of Miss Ruddock in Prison? Irene Ruddock, the main character in Alan Bennett's dramatic monologue, "Lady of Letters" first gives the impression of being a prejudiced, nosey and na�ve woman who writes letters whenever she finds something of which she disapproves. However, after entering prison for libel she encounters a huge personality change. In my opinion, the time scale in which this happens is the biggest factor which makes it unbelievable. I am going to discuss other factors that contribute for and against this decision. To begin with, Miss Ruddock starts the monologue in a negative way "I can't say the service was up to scratch". From even the very first sentence she starts speaking, the audience, ironically, are supposed to make prejudicial assumptions about her. Throughout the first scenes we see, she makes horribly racist and prejudicial judgements on people she deems as inferior like "they don't look very promising... the kiddy looks filthy". Making decisions when she doesn't fully know the situation promotes the idea of her being nosey and extremely quick to jump to conclusions. We also see a lonely side to Miss Ruddock since she goes to a funeral of a distant acquaintance for an excuse to go out. ...read more.


The way she judges people on how they look and act adds to the idea of her being prejudiced, "this other side's Asians so they won't know what's normal" although I don't think that the audience would condemn her for this as it is partly the generation in which she grew up. Another criticism she makes is when she says, "he has a tattoo anyway". This seems as if she is saying that just because he has a tattoo, she deems him socially inferior because people with tattoos are violent people. When she finally seeks help and goes to the doctor, he isn't very helpful and just gives her some pills to give her a balanced view on things. In my opinion, she doesn't need tablets, she needs psychiatric help. She is not very keen on taking pills either "I didn't want anymore tablets" but the doctor just dismisses her like the rest of society. The vicar also fails to understand Miss Ruddock and tries to force her into religion and does not succeed. When the vicar is talking to her she takes a very pessimistic view of love and Christianity, "You're barking up the wrong tree, I'm an atheist". This shows that she is very stuck in her ways and slightly stubborn to see other people's views. ...read more.


Even when Geraldine makes fun of Shirley, she sticks up for her and tells Geraldine to "fuck up". Bennett uses humour to show that the overall mood of the monologue has lifted. Irene even starts occasionally smoking although "I shan't ever be a full-time smoker". This shows that she is a lot more open to more modern ideas. Before her time in prison, she almost certainly wouldn't believe in sex before marriage but now she even states that she would feel more comfortable in that situation since "Bridget has taken her through the procedure step by step". Her naivety seems to have lessened as well, as she realises that it probably never going to happen at her age. However she still lacks understanding since she has been isolated for so long. In conclusion, I think that the transformation of Miss Ruddock into Irene is not completely believable because the time scale in which this happens is minute. Other factors also contribute to my decision such as, the portrayal of a women's prison to be a jolly place. However, the dramatic change in Miss Ruddock was demanded by the situation that she found herself in and people are able to change in different environments. Overall, I do not think the transformation in Miss Ruddock is entirely believable but the point Bennett makes about the human capacity to change is nonetheless credible. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. A Lady Of Letters Essay

    "Mother bought it me... It's been a real friend"; the pen is of obvious sentimental value as Irene as cherished it so much to even call it her 'friend'. We then learn more about Irene's situation and that is still in fact, grieving the loss of her mother, who was probably her best friend and closest companion.

  2. A Lady of Letters.

    and also in the play the policeman says "you'd better get you hat and coat on.". We know she wears glasses because the optician writes to her. From the things she says and does I imagine that she takes care of her appearance she wears makeup and does her hair nice.

  1. Explain how Alan Bennett conveys the changes that take place in Miss Ruddock, during ...

    She also creates the impression that, she attempts to be the guardian of the society and it's her duty to inform others in the society, of what's going on, and this is assumed because of they letters she writes. In the beginning our sympathy is evoked further, because we as

  2. The Outside Dog

    The conflict Marjory has with almost all the other characters is a very valuable method Bennett employs to grab our attention. From her low status relationship with her husband [she feels that Stuart values his dog, Tina, more than he does her], to the difficult relationship that she has with

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