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

How does Alan Bennet Maintain Readers Interest

Extracts from this document...


Alex Haigh Mrs Walls 10fe1 39337 Talking heads How does Alan Bennett maintain the reader's interest? When an audience usually goes to see a play, there are different characters to engage them. This tends to work well, because the audience are able to relate to each of the different characters. Alan Bennett, despite only having one character played in the monologue, still manages to engage the audience; he does this using a range of techniques. Often when you go to see a dramatic monologue, there is not many changes or fluctuations of scenes which can present a problem; boredom. In a dramatic monologue there is only one view point, which can also present a problem, this being that the audience may not like Irene's personality; more importantly they may be unable to relate to the character. Bennett overcomes these issues by using a variety of techniques. Such as, gradually revealing information and by changing the personality of Irene rather dramatically. ...read more.


This helps us understand Bennett's ideas as it makes us think about our society today and if prison is really better than living in the outside world as an elderly citizen. If this is the case we have to question where community is going wrong. Bennett gradually reveals information about Irene to keep the reader interested and intrigued in order to read on. At the beginning of the play, Bennett doesn't reveal too much information about Irene, so we don't actually realise how much Irene does depend on writing and the seriousness of her letters. We don't know the full story about the 'kiddie' until the climax of the play. Irene made us think the kiddie was being mistreated by her comments, such as when she refers to the kiddie as 'thin little thing, bruise on its arm' and 'I keep wondering about that kiddie' 'every single night the parents go off'. ...read more.


Consequently he does not reply. When Irene realises he didn't send him another letter back she gets herself all worked up and just remarks' typical' as if it was him that was out of order. This makes the audience think that she doesn't know herself and yet we do. Bennett uses Irene to bring other characters into the play through reported speech, which creates variety to the play. One of the characters that Irene talks about is 'the vicar', Bennett describes the vicar very briefly, yet you still get a vivid image of what you think he would look like. Bennett does this by using short descriptive comments, such as 'a young fellow in a collar and tie'. Bennett also uses this technique to describe other characters, for example the social worker. He uses lots of little descriptions that are effective in imaging images, like 'shocking finger nails', 'ginger hair' and 'a hole in her tights the size of a fifty pence piece'. Irene portrays these characters through her own personal opinions and views however through the audiences view, we could portray these individuals completely differently. ...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. Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues.

    It's done with now, anyway." The significance of this is that this extract is that it shows that Doris knows that this is the end. Was the ending positive or negative? The ending of 'A Lady of Letters' is a positive ending for Irene because she finally has friends.

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

    For example, when she finds out that the 'kiddy' opposite had died of leukaemia and not of neglect or cruelty like she said, she looked more bothered about getting the situation wrong and not upset about the 'kiddy' despite saying that she 'can't keep the peace when there is neglect and cruelty going on under my nose.'

  1. How does Alan Bennett maintain the audiences interest in A Lady of Letters?

    However, Irene writes letters to such a wide variety of people that it can keep the audience interested. Portraying a character like Miss Ruddock will also give the audience a feeling of what it would be like to be ignored and unwanted.

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

    When Susan talks about him she does it sarcastically. This helps her to convey the disappointment she feels in her marriage. In comparison when she talks about Ramesh, Ramesh she does it as though she's been naughty and lustily so it's obvious that she's enjoyed the affair and the attention she gets from Ramesh.

  1. A Lady of Letters.

    Maggie Smith has a very expressive face and so can show the whole range of emotions that Miss Ruddock experiences in the play. The clothes that she would wear would be conservative, traditional, natural colours. The shoes that she would wear are flat with American Tan tights.

  2. How does Alan Bennett create the character of Miss Fozzard and tell her story? ...

    Secondly, before this monologue was written, Miss Fozzard seems to have a fairly uneventful life, now however, she seems to have plenty of stories to tell the audience. By the end of the monologue she seems to have an eventful and fulfilling life.

  1. A contrast and comparison of the two characters, Susan and Irene, in Alan Bennett's ...

    she doesn't have any friends and is lonely, forcing her to write letters in order to keep in touch with the outside world. Bennett presents Irene as a lonely woman with no family who is isolated behind the curtains of her bay window.

  2. Talking Heads

    quick judging, ''She can't be more than twenty and by the look of her she's expecting another.'' This may suggest that the activity in the neighbourhood is not to her liking. In such shows as 'The office' whose main character is Brent, we see a lot of symbolism and similarities, which relate to Alan Bennett's Lesley and Irene.

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