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How do the dramatic techniques use in the play help the audience to understand the importance of Shirley's transformation? You should refer to the significance of the play's social and historical (settings, attitudes to women

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SHIRLEY VALENTINE TASK: HOW DO THE DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES USE IN THE PLAY HELP THE AUDIENCE TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF SHIRLEY'S TRANSFORMATION? YOU SHOULD REFER TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PLAY'S SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL (SETTINGS, ATTITUDES TO WOMEN, ATTITUDES TO MARRIAGE, EXPECTATIONS OF LIFE, ETC) CONTEXT AND THE LITERARY CONTEXT (KITCHEN-SINK DRAMA, COMEDY, TRAGEDY, DRAMA, ETC). The play 'Shirley Valentine' was written by Willy Russell. Russell was born in 1976, near Liverpool. He left school when he was fifteen and did a variety of jobs before becoming a writer. Originally he used to be a songwriter, performing in his late teens. By the time he was twenty he decided to become a playwright rather than his desired option of teaching. In his first eighteen months schools loved his work and he decided that he was successful enough to do it fulltime. "Shirley Valentine", is the story of a middle age woman living in Liverpool and her change in life. Russell explores the usage of different dramatic techniques to tell a complex story. We the audience are in contact with Shirley from the beginning, because she talks to the camera. This forms a friendship between Shirley and the audience. We become her confidante. Other dramatic techniques used by the playwright are the use of Flashbacks and Voiceovers. In flashbacks Shirley would be doing something and would drift off talking about something that had happened earlier on in the day or a previous day, so we would get all the background information, on what has been going on. It also highlights the important events in her life to show us how she got to this point in her life. In Voiceovers Shirley would express her true feelings about someone whilst they would be talking about the thing that Shirley is expressing her feelings about. The opening credits depict a series of fifteen sketches that show Shirley doing her everyday routine of domestic chores, with no enthusiasm. ...read more.


In Shirley's case it is the fact that there is a married middle-aged woman going to a Greek island, and the only reason people would come up with for her going is the fact that she is going for sex. Marjorie also reminds Shirley of what she used to be like at school, "I was marvellous". In the meeting they found out that they both wanted to be like each other. Another key reason that contributed to Shirley making the decision of her going to Greece was the incident that happened at the dinner table with her husband, Joe. Joe is furious that he has not got egg and chips for supper and not the usual 'Thursday' meal of steak, he reacts in a very negative manner, "Well I'm not eatin' this. I - am - not - eatin' - shite!" The quote, "When I'm workin' all the hours that God sends." shows that Joe gets tired and grumpy in the evenings. But it also shows that he spends all his time at work and not enough time at home with Shirley. When Shirley reacts she speaks with steal in he voice, which shows that she is determined. After this confrontation Shirley gives a clue to Joe that she is going to Greece. But because of their lack of communication he does not understand and thinks that she wants both of them to go to Greece. Millandra, Shirley's daughter, comes back to live with her mother because her and her flatmate, Sharon-Louise, have had an argument. She has come back to gain comfort from her mother. Thinking as if Shirley has not got anything to do, Millandra starts to make plans, whist bossing Shirley around. The quote, "Will you go down and get us another spoon?" is a very good example of this. Shirley starts to tell Millandra her situation, but Millandra does not listen to Shirley. ...read more.


He blames her although the conversation. Shirley is adjusting well to the lifestyle and the job. We see her going through more new experiences, such as riding a scooter. She looks very healthy and happy. Meanwhile Joe is still trying to persuade Shirley to come back to Liverpool, but it's not working. One day Brian, his son, convinces Joe to go to Greece himself, in doing so he insults his father. Joe goes to Greece, when he arrives he sees a woman sitting by the sea sipping wine and offers obvious male approval, not knowing it's Shirley. When he walks down the road towards her he looks tired, and he walks right past her. Shirley calls him, "Joe" Joe looking surprised turns around, "I didn't recognise you." This shows that Shirley is healthier. "Oh I hope he stays for a while. He needs a holiday. He needs to feel the sun on his skin and to be in water that's as deep as forever." This quote shows Shirley explaining to Joe why she likes it in Greece. She also explains what good it would do for Joe if he stayed with her in Mykonos. The film ends with the two talking together like a proper married couple. "It's a change of life." This is a good quote to sum up what Shirley has done with her life. At the end of the play, Shirley and Joe are talking happily. Russell use of stage direction right at the end of the play is an effective dramatic device because it helps us to see Joe's reaction and attitude to the weather and surrounding, he cannot handle. "I used to be the mother. I used to be the wife. But now I'm Shirley Valentine again". This quote shows that Shirley feels more like a human being instead a sad old woman being bossed around at home, she is happier, and she feels like a better person. She has transformed both physically, emotionally and mentally. ?? ?? ?? ?? Asim Macci Shirley Valentine 10R Page 5 Asim Macci 10R Page 1 ...read more.

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