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

How do Alan Bennett and the director of Talking Heads invoke both humour and pathos?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How do Alan Bennett and the director of Talking Heads invoke both humour and pathos? Alan Bennett and the director invoke humour and pathos in numerous ways in each of the Talking Head speeches. In all the Talking Heads, there are recurring themes, such as loneliness (A Cream Cracker under the settee) and exaggerated pride or self-confidence (Her Big Chance). None of the characters are truly happy, although the little happiness can come their way through surprising means. Graham finds happiness when his mother doesn't leave him for Mr Turnbull, although, ironically, in the future he may have been happier if she had. Each person has a secret, which is hidden, yet perhaps subconsciously known, and isn't revealed, Grahams slightly fragile mental state, Doris wish to die, Susan's alcoholism and loss of faith and Lesley's promiscuity, and lack of talent. Although none of the character aims to be funny, Bennett makes them speak in a way which causes the audience to laugh at the situation (sometimes absurd), that they are in, or their choice of words. For example, Grahams mothers comment about the man at Tescos, or Susans flower arranging account at the church. A lot of humour comes from the characters seriousness retelling of stories in a language, which they perceive to be so, yet to us, they aren't. ...read more.

Middle

Lesley, in "My Big Chance" causes people to feel sympathetic towards her, because she is a woman who is seeking to be liked. Lesley tries to appear to be professional, and she does reiterate this throughout her speech, often saying she is a professional, and that she would rather curl up with a book. However, she is far for this, as she is made to seem not this, "You look an interesting person. I like interesting people". Bennett changes the perception that Lesley is 'professional', when she says "You won't be able to tell my tits from my goose pimples". Bennett is very successful in showing her lack of intelligence, foolishness and how she can't see these traits in herself, and it is at these things, we can laugh at her attempts to appear otherwise. Alan Bennett uses bathos to provide humour in "A Bed among the Lentils". "Godfrey's bad enough but I am glad I wasn't married to Jesus". It is the link between something that is ordinary, to something that is godly, which provides the humour. This also occurs in "Her Big Chance", the juxtaposition saying she killed someone, then missing it because it was interesting, provides humour because of its ridiculousness. ...read more.

Conclusion

Graham is concerned about this relationship his mother has with Mr Turnbull. This role reversal, does provide humour, and sympathy, because you would expect a 40-something year old man to not be living on his own, and you would expect his mother to be worrying about Graham, and not vice versa. An example of the humour in this Talking Head is when Graham's mother, Vera, launches a purely enjoyable attack on the vicar. This reveals her lack of understanding and her prejudices. In "A Chip in the Sugar", Graham is the complete opposite of his mother, Vera's love interest, Mr Turnbull. Graham is your so-called typical Guardian reader - avoids deodorant, is environmentally conscious, likes date and walnut bread. When he comes into conflict with Mr Turnbull, a racist and bigamist, yet well off, and well dressed, this provides humour. Grahams mother can be seen to have an imbalanced view of life, perhaps because she can't break away from her dominating son. She is annoyed that the money she gave to the poor and needy as gone to waste because, "it would have brought me some Quality Street". This is an example of bathos, which, in some respects, does provide humour to the watcher/reader. When watching the Talking Heads, the director uses cuts, different camera angles and the introduction of music when the speaker is talking to good effect. ...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 Reveal The Speaker in 'A Lady of Letters' And Provoke ...

    This act reinforces the element of pathos, which is ever present throughout the monologue. Yet often Bennett creates these 'elements of pathos' with great ambiguity, as in the following quote the pity for Irene re-emerges, as again she confirms herself as being a victim of her own narrow- mindedness.

  2. Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues.

    Chorus In my sweet lit-tle a-lice blue gown, when I first wan-dered down into town, I was both proud and shy, ...till it wilt-ed I wore it, I'll al-ways a-dore it, my sweet lit-tle a-lice blue gown. This is Doris looking back and thinking of her childhood when she was a little girl.

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

    This may however be because she does not write as many letters as before. This shows that overall; the language Miss Ruddock uses keeps the audience engaged into the play as the language is sometimes ambiguous and then other times very clear.

  2. A cream cracker under the setee- by Alan Bennett (How does Alan Bennett ...

    Alan Bennett gave Doris a sense of humor to make us like her more therefore we sympathize for her because we like her. It also shows us that there is a happy, funny person lurking beneath the shadow of her old age and insecurities.

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

    Her tone of voice becomes rude and abusive. When she says "They knew you had a 38-inch bust" and "Let's face it, dear. You're not used to working" we can tell that Scott is quite brutal with her and doesn't care if he hurts her feelings.

  2. “A cream cracker under the settee” - Production Analysis

    has done, she tries to make her self feel better by saying that her wouldn't have known what to do. Doris then decides to see if she can get to the front door and open it and wait till someone walks past.

  1. How does Alan Bennett reveal to us the character of Lesley and how do ...

    This helped him when he pursued in writing because Bennett invokes humour and pathos in numerous ways in each of the 'Talking Heads' speeches. Bennett uses different writing techniques in 'Talking Heads' in order to portray different emotions in a character, for example isolation and loneliness.

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

    'Hello, hello' I think Alan Bennett places a pause here to allow the audience to think about Doris' sheer misfortune/ bad luck at being a sleep when some one comes up to the house, and also to think about her helplessness because she is old, and lives alone.

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