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How does Alan Bennett create the character of Miss Fozzard and tell her story? The video, "Talking Heads Two" was made in 1998. It is a collection of six dramatic monologues

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Introduction

How does Alan Bennett create the character of Miss Fozzard and tell her story? The video, "Talking Heads Two" was made in 1998. It is a collection of six dramatic monologues by various different actors, each one telling their own story. Bennett wrote a series of monologues in 1988 for BBC 2 at a time when they were having financial difficulties. Monologues were chosen as they only required a few actors and cameramen. They were successful and Bennett decided to write a second series of monologues, the one which I am going to study is called "Miss Fozzard finds her feet" and I will be discussing how Alan Bennett creates her character and how her story is told. The monologues were written for, and shown on television. The use of the "talking head" as a dramatic device is effective as the audience sees the expression on the actors face and then feels the emotion the actor is portraying in their role. The effect of using the monologue form is effective as there is only one character so the audience can connect and understand the character better. In the collection of monologues there are no special effects used i.e. flashbacks, distractions also helps the audience understand the character. The audience also has to use their imagination as other characters are only spoken about and not seen so the audience has to imagine what they look like. ...read more.

Middle

This uncaring behaviour is brought to light again later in the monologue when Bernard has another stroke. She says "Two inches the other way and he would have hit his head on the fender. Lucky escape." This is unclear and either means that Bernard was really lucky or that she is being sarcastic. The audience's first impression of Miss Fozzard is that she cares about everything in her life but this changes their opinion as her brother is one of the main things in her life and her attitude towards him is quite uncaring, which is peculiar. However when Miss Fozzard says "I do miss work" we see the emotional effects her brothers illness has on her. This line is accompanied with music which uses stringed instruments to create a rather sad mood as Miss Fozzard seems worn out and tired. She then fades out. There is then the clever way in which the sub-plot of Miss Malloy and Bernard is introduced. Miss Fozzard is halfway through her sentence when she introduces Miss Molloy and so the story flows better. She says "Now that I'm back at work and we've got Miss Molloy coming in." This is a very effective but subtle way of introducing a character and is another device Alan Bennett uses when writing a monologue. Again Miss Fozzard appears to judge a person by their age, in this case Miss Molloy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience is again made to laugh at Miss Fozzard's hardships. This again introduces the black comedy aspect of the monologue. Miss Fozzard is almost being paid to have a life which makes the audience feel sorry for her because she needs the money. However she continues to "skirt around the word" and obscures what is really going on. In conclusion to the question "How does Alan Bennett create the character of Miss Fozzard and tell her story?" I feel that Alan Bennett effectively portrays the character of Miss Fozzard through her personality and traits. This means the character is easy for the audience to relate to and this, accompanied with the language used and the facial expressions and the tone of voices of the unseen characters used by Patricia Routledge (the actress) creates a successful character. I think her characters exterior seems boring to someone who takes a first glance, but as you get to know her throughout the monologue her character evolves into someone interesting and funny. If I was a member of the audience I think I would find Miss Fozzard inoffensive and quite eccentric. However, I think these qualities in a person are often amusing, as we frequently find in the monologue, and her prejudice views may be at times questionable, but are mostly harmless and funny. The audience would feel that this is only due to Miss Fozzard's old fashioned manner and this is what she has been brought up to think. Overall, her character is excellently created and brought to life and I enjoyed the monologue. Lucia Pasqualino ...read more.

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