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shirley valentine

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To what extent does the character Shirley Valentine fit into the stereotypical role of a house wife? Introduction The play Shirley Valentine was written by an author named Willy Russell and adapted into a feature film. He set it in Liverpool because this city summed up the attitude of working class men to their wives. The wives were expected to stay at home, cook their husbands meals, look after the children etc, while the husbands went out and worked and provided the finances. Liverpool is a typical northern working class town. It was a good statement for the beginning of the film. Themes Shirley Valentine was a housewife, meaning she didn't work. Her role was being a mother, who cooked and cleaned for her husband and children. Housewife means a woman who works at home and relies on her husband's financial support. Therefore she was a working person but without a salary and her work place was the home. On page 2, scene 2, it shows how being a housewife isn't a perfect lifestyle. Shirley is talking to the wall, and drinking through the day, indicating that she is bored, lonely and doesn't have a very good social life: "There's a woman three doors down the road - talks to her microwave! ...read more.


When Shirley escapes to Greece, Joe does everything he can to get her back, he even says he will go over there: "He's coming' to fetch me, to take me back home - God love him, he must have been watching Rambo." Shirley jokes about Joe coming to get her, because she knows that he probably wont or that he wont be pleased to see her. Shirley knows that Joe wont be able to just bring her back. She has now become an independent woman and can handle being on her own. The kids One of Shirley's kids, Millandra, comes back home because she has had a fall out with a friend. She doesn't ask Shirley's permission to come back but just barges in and leaves her luggage outside the front door for Shirley to pick up. Even the daughter treats Shirley like her husband. This happens just as Shirley was going to leave for her holiday. Shirley's ideal holiday is also slowly falling to pieces. "Mother I've come back to live with you, will you make me some cocoa and toast like you used to? I'm going up to me room." Shirley doesn't say anything until she sits down beside Millandra when she has made her a perfect cocoa. ...read more.


She would not have gone back with Joe, but he could have stayed with her in Greece. I think that is what he did. As he didn't recognise her, I think that he could now see that she no longer needed him and she has done so well without him. This would have made him rethink his attitude towards her and their marriage. Conclusion Shirley Valentine's role in the beginning of the play was typical of a housewife, who was not appreciated and expected to provide the home comforts for her husband without having any life of her own. She was bored but at the same time frightened to break out of the routine. This situation was made worse by the fact that her children had left home and no longer provided a distraction from the boredom. Her unhappiness may have been partly responsible for her husbands grumpiness, but it was obvious that he had taken her for granted. His action over being served a wrong meal on a day that he should have had a steak is a good example of his attitude. By the time he realised how much he missed her and loved her, Shirley Valentine had already rediscovered herself in Greece. By going to Greece he hoped that he could win her back. ...read more.

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