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How do the dramatic techniques used in the play help audience to understand the importance of Shirley's transformation?

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Shirley Valentine How do the dramatic techniques used in the play help audience to understand the importance of Shirley's transformation? In 'Shirley Valentine' Willy Russell presents the transformation of a stifled middle-aged woman who changes dramatically from her married self. This is represented by the use of different dramatic techniques such as voiceovers, flashbacks, monologues and other effects which are some of the devices Willy Russell uses to display changes during the play. This will alter the audiences view towards Shirley - a stifled, bored, middle-aged woman to an outgoing, adventurous and free woman. This play is influenced by kitchen sink drama although it is not exactly similar. A kitchen sink drama is about pessimistic working class men, with an emphasis on domestic realism and their social problems. However in this play the main protagonist is a woman. This play also contains humour unlike a kitchen sink drama but both type of play are similar as these plays are based on the unfulfilled life of the main character. This play is focused on a working class life, social problems and relationships of a woman who hasn't fulfilled her life and is stuck at home. The character of Shirley represents the frustrations of working class women who remains isolated from the outside world and instead have to dwell in work of domestic labour. From this we can tell that Willy Russell was influenced from his childhood as he had become a ladies hairdresser, a job he didn't quite enjoy, by taking his mothers advice. ...read more.


When she meets Renos, she is then more sociable and gregarious; she is also much happier talking to him. When she is dining with the holiday makers Dougie and Jeannette, she gains more confidence. 'She turns to Sydney speaking with emphasis.' whereas previously she would've spoken to the camera but now she expresses her opinions publicly. The quote "most important invention of all - the wheel" mean that Shirley is reclaiming the young, brave Shirley valentine who was crushed by poor education and is now displaying knowledge/intelligence. She is also expressing how she is feeling, which wouldn't have done before. When Shirley meets Costas, we see the changes transforming Shirley Bradshaw to Shirley valentine. "I wanna jump of the roof!" This portrays that she is regaining the bravery of young Shirley, but when she was back at Liverpool she was resistant of going as she was too old. After meeting Costas Shirley tells herself ..."I've fallen in love with the idea as living." This displays Shirley's transformation - she felt how it is to be free, to live that she's fallen in love with it. 'Shirley valentine' uses minor characters and various comic devices to add humour, to reveal elements of Shirley's personality and to mock stereotypes. With the use of irony, sarcasm and wordplay 'Shirley valentine' became an entertaining play. Humour is presented as a strategy in which Shirley uses to cope with her miserable life. ...read more.


the routine. We can see that Shirley needs a break, needs to rebel and going to Greece is something the audience will agree with. My final impression of Shirley's character is that she isn't Shirley Bradshaw anymore, that her transformation to Shirley Valentine is complete. She is 'relaxed and peaceful' where before Shirley was always stressed and depressed. When Shirley says "... He needs a holiday. He needs to feel the sun on his skin and to be in water that's deep as forever." This proves that she's changed so much she can now worry about Joe and his unfulfilled life. The fact that Shirley cannot be recognised by her own husband says that her visual transformation is symbolic of her emotional change. "But now I'm Shirley Valentine again." Shirley has reclaimed her true identity and at the end she fulfils her dreams near the setting sun showing a happy ending. From all this I can see that Shirley is now a very happy and free person and has changed for good. Overall we can see that slowly we have watched the transformation of Shirley Valentine transform into Shirley Bradshaw and change back into Shirley Valentine. She has turned from a life of captivity in house chores and boredom to freedom and adventure. This has been portrayed by the impact of dramatic techniques which creates empathy and shows past experiences, changes and her point of view on things helping us to understand this transformation. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Sarah Naim 10s ...read more.

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