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How Does Willy Russell Invite us to Fell Sympathy towards Shirley Valentine

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How Does Willy Russell Invite us to Fell Sympathy towards Shirley Valentine A 1983 hit screenplay 'Shirley Valentine' by Willy Russell who was raised in a house full of woman, his father worked at 4 jobs to support his family so that Russell did get an education in English. This meant at home he could only talk to woman which he found fascinating, learning about their lives and dreams', being brought up in a working class family it was not surprising he'd be in working class when he grew older. He became a hair dresser for a while before realising that he should take what he learnt and write books. Once he learned their apathy and how antonym their views were on class, politics, education, language, society and stereotypes, he wrote kitchen sink drama screenplays, like 'Shirley Valentine' and 'Educating Rita' . He uses dramatic devices, character and language to help us feel moved towards Shirley Valentine. Shirley Valentine is about a woman who was once a complete anarchist who turned into a tedious middle aged housewife and mother. She then after being used and taken for granted by her family and friends goes to Greece and falls in love with something she had lost but it isn't too soon until she is used and taken for granted even on holiday. Russell invites us to feel sympathy for Shirley by making us her confidantes seeing through the eyes of the camera and being painted pictures by Shirley describing her past. ...read more.


This was very humiliating for Shirley to see someone she bullied to be so successful while she was a tedious, forlorn guise, since she alleged Marjory to be something important like an air hostess but Marjory said "I'm a hooker" Shirley then felt equilibrium with Marjory. This develops us to understand that both were just ordinary people who were equal even though one was of a higher education, class and richer they were both people. They were both woman, they were both educated to a point and both lived in England. I think Russell used this `coincidence` to point out education institution to underscore even the best student can turn into something unrespectable to some like the headmistress who definitely would not approve of that while on the other hand some people like Shirley could admire that, someone who strived and achieved something societies majority would condemn her possibly Russell made that point why she went to Greece even though the majority (Joe, Millandra, and even Shirley at a point) would not agree on going to Greece while Jillian admired that about Shirley. This could relate back to Russell because he was once a hairdresser, to realise he wanted to become a writer he would have to overcome classes and social rejection. We could also link what happened between Shirley and Marjory with Russell to Russell's education, maybe he was not given a fair opportunity, if he was he may have never become a hairdresser. ...read more.


It makes us realise even in writing there's emotions put in and through those words that touches the audience attracting sympathy to go to Shirley. A more personal device to me s direct address because it makes the audience the confidants which links us closer with Shirley and Russell like when she's talking to Marjorie "I'll write it down for you" this makes the audience feel more interaction in this kitchen sink drama. Russell invites us to feel sympathy for Shirley by using dramatic devices, characters and language to make us realise that the character of Shirley is a metaphor of Russell. Whatever feelings he put in himself weather it was self pity, stereotypes on him or anything else he wanted people to acknowledge that people should influence themselves into giving him sympathy. He wants us to feel sympathy for Shirley by using her family and friends to take advantage of her and make her life feel insignificant; as if she died tomorrow no one would shed a tear. It did not really affect me because I'm kind of an emo and a story without any aliens or robots would not interest me. But the thing that did interest me into feeling sympathy for Shirley was when Joe was being a baby and sent the dish full of chips and egg into Shirley's lap, I think it was uncalled for domestic violence. Overall I think Russell's plays aren't meant for me because I'm in the wrong target audience group. By Krutik Patel 1,946 words. ...read more.

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