• 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 reveal the character of Doris in 'A Cream Cracker under the Settee?'

Extracts from this document...


How does Alan Bennett reveal the character of Doris in 'A Cream Cracker under the Settee?' In this essay I will be analysing Alan Bennett's short play titled 'A Cream Cracker Under the Settee.' I will be exploring the props, lighting and dramatic techniques used to reveal the character of Doris. I will be investigating why Bennett chose to write the play using monologue and how slowly reveals the character of Doris. The play is about an elderly woman who is alone, trapped in her own home when she falls and injures her leg. She has no means of communication with the world outside and spends the last few hours of her life reminiscing. In the play Bennett uses no active dialogue, this is to keep the audience focused on Doris, her views and opinions. Because only one person is speaking, only one opinion can be given. In order to keep the audiences' attention Doris must perform impersonations of the other characters, so that although there is no active dialogue there is still conversation and the audience are actively involved. Doris uses old but informal language because she is 75 and very old fashioned. In the play Bennett has chosen to give Doris three props, which are a duster, a photograph of Doris and her late husband Wilfred and most importantly the cream cracker. ...read more.


She begins to realise that like her life the cream cracker is irrelevant. 'Go to black' this signifies the changing of the scene. The stage goes black so that the audience does not see Doris' struggle to move positions throughout the play. This is to make sure that the audience keep focused on the seriousness of the play. "She cranes up towards the window" Doris is on the floor, she is injured and her condition is worsening. She has nobody present to come to her aid and no means of communication with the outside world. "She nips her other leg. 'This ones going numb now.'" This shows that in just a few hours Doris' condition has worsened. There is constant antagonism between Doris and Zulema because both women are head strong and set in their ways. Doris has high cleaning standards and Zulema believes that she is in charge of Doris. Doris often feels patronised by Zulema "I don't want to hear that you've been touching the ewbank." This insinuates that Doris in under Zulema's order/power like a child. The most powerful phrase is "You're on trial here." It suggests that Doris must prove her innocence or she will be sentenced to Stafford house. Doris loathes Zulema, she proves this when she finds the cream cracker and considers blackmailing Zulema the next time that the Stafford house speech commences. ...read more.


However in the rest of the play Doris puts emotion into her memories. Doris no longer feels that she is part of modern society. She feels that she is no longer part of a community and she believes that her name is an issue, "They don't get called Doris now." She thinks that she is an "antique. Keep them under lock and key." At the end of the play when Doris wishes that she was a little child again the audience is forced to empathise with her as everyone has been a child. Doris wants to be clean, loved and looked after. I also think that Doris is disappointed with the way life has turned out for her and she wants to start it over again. I think that Bennett's message is that everyone knows a lonely old lady somewhere and this could be her life story. Bennett wants you to be able to empathise with Doris' character. Bennett makes a serious point in the play but tackles it in a humorous way, he did this because if the play is sad and full of politics then the audience would quickly lose interest in the play. I found the play interesting to read. I thought that it was well written and wasn't too long. When I see elderly people struggling I am reminded to the play. 1 Jodie Smee 10SFz ...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. How does Alan Bennett reveal to us the character of Lesley and how do ...

    Bennett often has Lesley using clich�s such as 'I didn't fall off the Christmas tree yesterday' he does this as to make her seem superficial because even though she states this, she still goes and sleeps around with men in order to fill useful and wanted.

  2. How does Alan Bennett mix comedy and tragedy? In two monologues look at structure, ...

    In 'Her Big Chance', the cast and crew never want to spend time with Lesley, except for the male characters with whom she sleeps; Terry, Kenny and Gunther, who don't actually want to spend quality time with her, they simply want to sleep with her.

  1. How Does Alan Bennett Reveal The Speaker in 'A Lady of Letters' And Provoke ...

    However, the more important irony that the dramatist creates here, which provokes a more complex humour is that it is only when she is in prison that Irene actually feels free, is able to make friends and is eventually happy.

  2. Studying Two Alan Bennett Monologues.

    The main setting of a 'Cream Cracker under the Sofa' is Doris's main room. This room is full of furniture and is very out of date. I think this is linked with the fact that she is trapped in the past by her views of people and her obsession with hygiene.

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

    This is when he strikes, with his darkest action, and takes the young girl 'into the bushes'. The play finishes with Wilfred in prison, sobbing. The writer, Alan Bennett, does a fabulous job of manipulating our opinion on Wilfred. Bennett tricks us into thinking that Wilfred is a kind and caring soul.

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

    She is also happier because she isn't alone anymore, because she is with loads of different people even though they are all criminals. At the end of Irene's story, she says "And I'm so happy." This shows that even though she is in prison for not keeping the peace and

  1. How does Alan Bennet present the relationship between Graham and his mother and Doris ...

    Evidence: Graham tries to influence his mother(Vera) we can tell this because Graham said 'For a lady of her age and pass she has a very liberal slant this shows us that Graham said that she is not a racist person but that she is taking Grahams view instead of her own.

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

    Doris rambles on throughout the monologue about her life as she had hurt her leg attempting to dust. She reminisces about the past, feeling mixed emotions such as guilt, fear and self-pity also about the people closest to her (Wilfred her husband, her baby which she had lost and Zulema, a worker from the council.)

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