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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE Literature Post 1914 Drama How does Alan Bennett maintain the audience's interest in 'A Lady of Letters'? Most plays maintain their audience's interest by including a diverse range of characters and many different scene changes, but A Lady of Letters is not most plays. Written by playwright Alan Bennett, A Lady of Letters portrays only one character - Irene Ruddock. Whereas most plays have the option to, for example, create and develop relationships between the characters, dramatic monologues do not have this option, due to there only being one character. Bennett, however, has the talent and ability to overcome these problems and more. One of his techniques is gradually revealing information about Miss Ruddock, which is vital to the progression of the story. It also makes it feel quite personal to the audience and gives the impression that you are getting to know her, but then, Bennett slips in another technique: making the character change dramatically. Apart from maintaining interest, this strategy should also create it by opening up a new branch of the story for the audience to think about and explore. Also, Bennett does manage to introduce new characters to the story, but in description form rather than in person. Despite the absence of the person, this technique can be used very cleverly. ...read more.

Middle

Also, the audience may find these reasons for writing letters petty and pointless, almost as if Miss Ruddock will write about anything and builds on the fact that she is lonely and isolated. After a visit from the police, Miss Ruddock is put on a suspended sentence, meaning that if she writes anymore letters she will be sent to prison. During her suspended sentence, Miss Ruddock says "New policeman now. Certainly keeps an eye on No.56. In there an hour at a stretch. He wants reporting". Immediately after this the scene changes and we see Miss Ruddock in prison. This obviously implies - but doesn't prove - that she was the person who reported the policeman and should verify the audience's suspicions of her writing inappropriate and cruel letters. Another part of the story that Bennett withholds information about until the dramatic climax is the kiddy over the road. It is a recurring story throughout the play, but to start with it will not be seen as important. The first time the kiddy is mentioned is when Irene says "We've got a new couple moved in opposite. Don't look very promising. The kiddy looks filthy". This is kept very brief and the audience will probably think nothing of it, just like everything else Irene has talked about so far. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite this, when she does go to prison, Miss Ruddock wears a shirt only buttoned halfway with the sleeves rolled up, she has flesh showing and has her hair down. Her mood has also changed dramatically and she comes across as radiant, friendly and happy. Not only does her clothing reflect her mood, but also the setting and lighting. Before prison, Miss Ruddock sits in her house which has old, dark coloured furniture and only one window, making it quite dark and dingy. This is a sad and depressing environment and reflects Miss Ruddock's mood at this stage. On the other hand, in prison, there is clean, lightly coloured and modern furniture, with windows all along both walls letting bright light flood into the room and again reflecting her mood which is now radiant and happy. Bennett has used this technique effectively and should certainly maintain the audience's interest. In conclusion, Alan Bennett has successfully captured and maintained the interest of the audience with 'A Lady of Letters'. He has given the audience a lot of subjects and characters to think about as they leave the theatre. His mix of relaxed and dramatic scenes, such as the vicar visiting Irene and immediately after the police arriving and the scene ending in a dramatic climax, captivates the audience and keeps them engaged. So, therefore Bennett has succeeded and solved his problem of enthralling viewers with an initially monotonous sounding play by creating a captivating masterpiece. ...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. Alan Bennett

    However we can not help but feel sympathetic towards him, which see to twist admiration for him, as we can not see it as an appropriate justification. We feel disgust towards him for committing the murder, but then think to ourselves he was brought up with his own thoughts, feelings and values.

  2. Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues.

    In some ways this is like a catholic confession. The characters reveal themselves to be what they are. The writer assumes that you understand the character's emotions and you can relate to them in some way or another. The writer also assumes that you care about what happens to the characters.

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

    The two different timescales used- from which other characters are introduced adds interest for the audience. All of Doris good memories seem to come from the past, "You could walk down the street and folks smiled... I'd leave the door on the latch and go on to the end for

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

    The phone also plays a prominent part because it is Lesley's only contact with other people. It is her only social interaction. Section 6 The medium of television gave Bennett the opportunity to use several different techniques- black out, fade and music- all used to signal the end of a scene.

  1. How believable did you find the transformation of Miss Ruddock in Prison?

    At this point, it becomes quite clear that through isolation, she has suffered a loss of perspective. When Miss Ruddock describes the pen that her mother had given her as "a real friend" it makes it seem as she doesn't have any other friends.

  2. A Lady of Letters - Post 1914 Drama

    Her only differential mood is pride. This is marked by her raised eyebrows and pursed lips which show us she's happy with herself. This makes her seem arrogant, but Irene manages to transform the situation by the contrast of her facial expressions (from indifferent to proud and back again)

  1. Born in Yorkshire in 1934, Alan Bennett.

    a reply as almost an invitation to continue the correspondence, almost as a penfreind would. They both have a hard time accepting help from 'outside agencies', such as Zulema, the home help and the social workers, they remember a time when neighbours would help in times of loneliness or need.

  2. What are the different attitudes that the various teachers and students have towards education ...

    It?s an angle. You want us to find an angle.?. A further character that has his own approach to education is Scripps. He stands out from the group for being very religious and this in itself gives him a different way of looking at things.

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