• 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. Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues.

    The situation of an old woman alone and in pain, condemning herself to death leaves little to laugh about. However a few moments for example are when Doris is lying distressed on the floor and a young boy enters her garden and she sees him 'spending a penny' she says: "The cheeky monkey.

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

    Yvonne's reaction to this only confirms what the audience are thinking; 'Yvonne bursts through the door and gets hold of the kiddy "I told you, madam." Starts laying into her, and clawing the sweet out of her mouth.' By this point most of the audience are convinced that Wilfred is a paedophile.

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

    who gave her character life through her facial expressions and made the play comical which is something the televised version failed to do. The humour in the play 'Bed among the lentils' doesn't come from Susan's own sense of humour, but infact mainly from the way Bennett has written the play.

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

    However, when she refers to when she is writing a letter or explaining a flashback, she talks in a formal tone to again perhaps show that she is intellectual when clearly we can see she is not as we see the mistakes she makes.

  2. A cream cracker under the setee- by Alan Bennett (How does Alan Bennett ...

    This cream cracker was under the settee." Doris is very over the top about finding a cream cracker and is satisfied that she has exposed a flaw has found a flaw in Zulemas cleaning. Bennett doesn't make Doris's situation very obvious to us instead he subconsciously makes us work it out for ourselves.

  1. Cream Cracker Under the Settee

    Zuleema says to Doris "What you don't seem to understand, Doris, is that I am the only person standing in between you and Stafford house." This makes the audience feel sympathy for Doris because Zuleema threatens Doris using her fear of Stafford house to make her do as she is told.

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

    ?Folks,? her language is very old fashioned and in the past which could show that either the play was set in the past or again could prove that she is living in the past and is not to change. Pauses keep the audience on the edge of their seats, anxious for the next scene to come.

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