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How does Bennett arouse our sympathy for Doris in "A Cream Cracker under the Settee"?

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How does Bennett arouse our sympathy for Doris in "A Cream Cracker under the Settee"? Allan Bennet firstly arouses our sympathy for Doris in 'A Cram Cracker under the Settee' as she is an old woman and has health problems. Doris is 'A woman of seventy five with a pacemaker and dizzy spells ' Her health prevents her from the things she would do as a young woman, now she is old she has memories from throughout her life. Having dizzy spells worries Doris, therefore she does not leave the house as there is a threat of sudden dizziness. Her heart is also weak and this is the meaning for her pacemaker this restricts her from everyday life, walking, cleaning. Another reason which makes us feel sorry for Doris is that she has fallen on her leg and cannot get up therefore is in pain and it 'Feels funny this leg ' Doris' fall may not seem serious however it may cause complications. With Doris being am old woman with a bad heart this lead to having a leg amputated or more serious problems. Doris' injury has caused her leg to go numb and she is unable to. We feel sympathetic towards Doris because she is alone and has nobody to help. We feel sympathy for Doris because of her compulsion with cleaning she is obsessed 'Where hygiene's concerned ' Cleaning is the main reason for Doris to get up in the morning; however it is also the reason for her fall and may be the cause of her death. ...read more.


And daft half of them, banging tambourines." Doris is probably scared of ending up like the people she describes. In Doris' mind this is what is going to happen to her if she ends up in Stafford House. This is the last thing in the world she wants to happen to herself; therefore Doris is determined to stay independent in order to keep her sanity. In order to promote sympathy for a character the author must encourage the reader to empathise with their life and fears. In addition, a reader is more likely to feel sympathy for a character if they are perceived as likeable or at least admirable. Doris may no longer be physically fit but she remains mentally sharp. She attempts to retain her own high standards of hygiene in her house, without the Social Services home help or "home hindrance" as Doris refers to her, knowing. Whilst doing so she discovers a cream cracker under the settee. It is in the attempt to dust the top the photo of her and her husband, that Doris has the fall that eventually leads to her death. Even as she sits helplessly on the floor she does not complain or feel sorry for herself. In fact she reports the state of her leg as a fact. "I can nip this leg and nothing" Bennett ensures that Doris is perceived favourably as even at the finish she is too proud to admit that she needs help. ...read more.


Whilst readers may not choose to agree with Doris' actions, few could fall but to admire her courage and to sympathise with her unfortunate situation. Bennett's message is very powerful throughout the monologue. The end leaves the audience feeling guilty that they part of that modern day society who could help someone just like Doris, but fail to find the time of day to fulfil their desired actions. Bennett skilfully includes aspects of an elderly person's life that are very close to the heart in order to make the audience aware of the very real situation. Before reading "A Cream Cracker under the Settee" I did not realise why elderly members of the community I know are so stubborn about certain modern day issues such as immigration. I can now see why they find it hard to accept modern day society moral issues that I would not even class as an issue that needs to be raised. As the light effectively fades on the final scene, Bennett has transformed, in the space of a few short pages, the character of a crotchety old woman into that of a real person with depth of character and strength of personality. Doris has become known to us all as a person with thoughts, problems, and fears similar to our own. By the end, even though she sometimes appears to be too stubborn for her own good, the audience cannot help but sympathise with Doris as her life draws to a close before our eyes. 1 ...read more.

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