• 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 make 'A Cream Cracker under the Settee' Such a moving and successful piece of drama, given the limitations its form imposes?

Extracts from this document...


How does Alan Bennett make 'A Cream Cracker under the Settee' Such a moving and successful piece of drama, given the limitations its form imposes? Doris, the 75 year old house-proud woman is the main character, the only character in fact in Alan Bennett's dramatic monologue 'A Cream Cracker Under the Settee'. This play is divided into four scenes, each of which are demarcated by blackout. These four scenes show the passage of time throughout one day in the life of Doris, and changes of room and position. Given the limitations its form imposes the play is a successful piece of drama. One of the limitations is that there is only one character, so there cannot be any character conflicts e.g. a fight or an argument. This could however, be used as a way of showing that Doris is lonely. This is one of the ways in which the writer manipulates our feelings about Doris. As she is in her 70's it would not be practical to have her doing her own stunts (probably the reason why we don't see the accident,) ...read more.


This is where Doris discovers the cream cracker under the settee (hence the name of the play) Doris is really disgusted and angry at such an unhygienic thing. Doris is determined to show this to Social Services if Zulema starts lecturing about Stafford House again. Doris then heads for the window and looks out at the house opposite. She used to know the people there but they went away. This is why Doris does not want to go to a home because these four walls hold many memories, some terrible, some happy but her memories all the same and no-one is going to take them from her. Wilfred did want a dog but Doris found the thought of all the dirt and hair most unhygienic. He didn't get one anyway. Then 'Hello-somebody coming salvation' but she doesn't get any. The only thing she gets is a chance to watch her saviour 'spending a penny' in her garden, which I am sure she would rather not do. ...read more.


They are ironic. One of these lines is 'let the dirt wait. It won't kill you.' This is ironic because in the end it does - she got badly injured whilst trying to get rid of dirt. Another good example is 'Graves, gardens everything's to follow.' This, for Doris, is true because she decides to die because she can't change it, and it will happen because 'everything's to follow' however I think that the best example of irony in this play is not so obvious. It is when the policeman visits Doris. I think that this ironic because Doris is a prisoner in her own house (because of her broken leg) and of course you get policemen in prisons! Overall I think that given the limitations its form imposes 'A Cream Cracker Under The Settee' works very well as a piece of drama. I think this is because even though the action is limited (because it is a monologue) the fact that Doris is in a difficult situation, the way the writer uses this to manipulate our feelings is very effective at keeping people interested in what he writes. 1 ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Cream Cracker - Explain in detail, and by frequent reference to the text, the ...

    3 star(s)

    very many techniques to achieve his goal and engage the audience throughout the play. One of the simpler techniques he includes in his play is the use of pauses. "It's such a silly thing to have done... *pause*". Bennett uses pauses to build up tension; this way he can give

  2. What is waiting for the Telegram about and how does it work as a ...

    Edward died from war and Violet never got to say goodbye, his death was undeserved. Francis was the same, he was special to Violet and she never got to say goodbye. However, Francis was at war with what could possibly be A.I.D.S but Violet did not realise this, as she says 'I thought they'd got pneumonia beat.'

  1. Cream Cracker Under the Settee

    Also her feelings were not considered by the nurse or Wilfred, as Wilfred 'then starts talking about getting a dog.' This seems like he is trying to replace a child with a dog which could be quite offensive to Doris as she just lost her child.

  2. Consider the dramatic effectiveness of Alan Bennett's "A cream cracker under the settee".

    Bennett has purposely made Doris say each individual letter in "Happy" and repeat it the three times, this adds emphasis and therefore increases it's dramatic effectiveness. The play's title, "A cream cracker under the settee", is a curios one, but it does link in with the play.

  1. To what extent can we trust Wilfred, in Alan Bennett's 'Playing Sandwiches'

    We also discover the answer to an early uneasy statement; 'Little Rosalie's playing in the yard, throwing her ball against the wall, clapping her hands and lifting her leg to throw the ball under, all that. When she stops she comes and sits on the step and I say, "I

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

    than on tape, however I also thought the performance by the actress on the televised version was very dull and monotonous. She didn't show any feeling about finally breaking free of her stereotypical life and having the affair when she acted and I preferred the performance by the theatre actress,

  1. "One character talking to a camera for half an hour, Do you call that ...

    In the beginning of the play, the lighting is quite dull, and Irene also wears very dull clothes. This shows that she is a very lonely woman, who can't help feeling miserable because of living alone. She doesn't talk to very many people, which is why she is always very down.

  2. How does Bennett use dramatic devices to bring the character of Doris alive in ...

    talking about him emotionally affects her and she cares for her husband like all wife?s would do. The previous quote also proves this point as at that point her voice softens and she goes into deep thinking, most probably thinking about the past.

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