• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How is the monologue form effective in Allan Bennett's portrait of Dorisin a Cream Cracker under the Settee?

Extracts from this document...


How is the monologue form effective in Allan Bennett's portrait of Doris in a Cream Cracker under the Settee? As Allan Bennett has chosen to write about the character Doris in monologue form we learn a lot about her. She is the only character we hear from throughout the monologue so we learn about the way she speaks, the language she uses and her opinions. Doris manages to constantly bring sanitation and cleanliness into the conversation, whatever the case, never forgetting to emphasize its importance. For example when her husband suggested getting a small bush for their garden the thing she was concerned about was how hygienic it would be, "Never mind character, Wilfred, where does hygiene come on the agenda?" She has a home help who is meant to take care of the cleaning in elderly Doris house, she is called Zuleema. Zuleema is made out to be a patronising person who has no respect for the elderly, and who tries to be an authoritarian. She sounds intimidating as Doris tells us she constantly threatens her with mentions of Stafford House, a retirement home, "I am the only person that stands between you and Stafford House." ...read more.


Same as the cream cracker." She pretends to say to Zuleema. One of the things that Doris talks about is when she miscarried John. The nurse attending to Doris wasn't sensitive or sympathetic and made the baby out to be some thing that was dirty and messy. It seems that Doris got no support from Wilfred either. "I don't think Wilfred minded." During the pregnancy, Doris must have made a tremendous effort to prepare everything (such as the pram that she talks about when she reaches a place near the door where it used to stand), so that the child could be bought up in the right sort of environment. Each thing would have to be sterilised, so it would be safe for the baby, however the midwife contradicted this by saying that the baby was dirty. "Wrapping him in newspaper as if he was dirty. He wasn't a dirty little thing" Doris may have felt the need to continue this routine of keeping everything sterile and clean as her own way of handling the situation, and become obsessed with everything being clean. ...read more.


"I don't know anybody around here now. Used to be the Marsdens... Smartish woman after them." The language that she uses is typical of an old woman, and this lets us know from the start that she old. "Ewbank... sneck... spending a penny..." Even her name 'Doris' is an old persons name, as is her husbands name 'Wilfred'. At the end of the monologue we hear from just one other person. This is the policeman that asks Doris if she is all right. She obviously is not, after falling from trying to reach a place to dust, but she convinces the policeman that she is all right. She seems to be almost committing suicide by telling the policeman not to worry. Her last words are, "Never mind. It's done with now, anyway." This could be referring to many things, telling the policeman to go away or falling from cleaning but I think that it is really about the baby that she lost. This is the central part of the monologue and remains central right up until the end where the light fades. The monologue written by Alan Benner works extremely well as we get to know Doris and understand her and her thoughts. Tara Karimian ...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. In A Lady of Letters how does Alan Bennett sustain the audiences interest in ...

    Her friend in prison says: 'You're funny you, Irene. You don't mind being in prison.' This keeps the audience engaged into the monologue because it is quite shocking to consider the concept of going to prison for writing letters. This shows the audience even clearer that Miss Ruddock's letter writing

  2. lady of letters monologue

    It was this short line 'he's labour but it's always very good notepaper and beautifully typed' nowadays no-one will understand it but back then people would have picked it up in a second, some people now maybe able to link it back to the 1980's like moi.

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

    Doris still thinks about her baby who died at birth; if the baby had survived then Doris wouldn't be so lonely and she thinks about this all the time. She is always thinking how she could be living a different life with children and grandchildren.

  2. How does Bennett arouse our sympathy for Doris in "A Cream Cracker under the ...

    has just told them instead of feeling sorry for Doris' lack of mobility. Lighting through out the production inhibits the passing of time. At the beginning of the monologue, when Doris is sharpest, you can clearly see it is broad daylight, whereas as Doris becomes wearier, the lighting slowly fades making the audience presume it is now evening.

  1. How does Bennett arouse our sympathy for Doris in "A Cream Cracker under the ...

    call her mother this meaning she was controlling like a mother, this may also mean there relationship was not sexual. Before the death of her husband and her baby her life was a lot different, Doris and her husband would 'Eat the toffees and listen to the wireless ' However

  2. What is 'A Cream Cracker under the settee' really about and how does it ...

    Zulema wants her to go into Stafford house. You can tell this by how she says 'I am the only person that stands between you and Stafford House'. This shows she is treating her like a child and not an adult.

  1. A Cream Cracker Under The Settee'

    the wedding photograph of Doris and Wilfred represented to be a strong symbol, of the implication, in which Doris's endless campaign against dust, has cause the glass to crack. Representing the destructive nature of Doris's cleaning mania, and the separation of herself and Wilfred.

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

    fixing the gate and he always used to reply saying ?when I get a minute? She uses humour at this point to lighten the atmosphere. Doris?s tone of voice when she is speaking about certain things reflect her emotion which is usual, this is clever as it makes her seem

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