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

Shirley Valentine - How does Shirley change in the course of the play, and how is the play organised to show the importance of these changes?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Shirley Valentine- Coursework How does Shirley change in the course of the play, and how is the play organised to show the importance of these changes? The talented Liverpool play writer Willy Russell wrote Shirley Valentine the popular contemporary play. Shirley Valentine was originally a dramatic solo monologue performed by Pauline Collins and uses many of the devices form the solo version. This essay analyses the changes in the life of the central female character. You see a frustrated, stereo typical, middle-aged woman who is emancipated from the kitchen sink and determined to achieve the childhood dreams she didn't fulfil in the early part of her life. In this voyage we see Shirley's life as she sees it and follow her story as she tells it. The author focuses on her past, present and future and in doing so, explores her relationship with other characters and the situations using devices such as flashback, which ultimately lead to her changes. Willy Russell's use of cinematic devices give the audience insight into Shirley's mind and her feelings. Other devices used are different types of comedy e.g. irony. Voice-overs are also types of devices Willy Russell uses where by characters talk over another scene or over lay it. Voice-overs and voice to camera are used since everything Shirley says is being reported. What she reports is the truth, but not the literal truth. The audience would feel sympathy for Shirley as of this fact. Before the film begins we are shown the opening credits, which present several simple pictures of Shirley doing domestic activities including: cooking, cleaning, gardening, shopping, making beds and ironing. This reinforces the audience to image her as a typical housewife. During these images a depressing and sad soundtrack, which creates a calm, lonely mood, overlies on the pictures. Some of the lyrics may suggest that Shirley has lost herself and speaks about losing your identity. ...read more.

Middle

".... Get on with getting me tea". He doesn't like the fact Shirley talks to the wall. "Who the bloody hell are you talkin' to?" This proves he has no respect and he does not understand her anymore. This shows what has become of Shirley's marriage. A quote that reveals, "Marriage is like the Middle East. There's no solution.", gives the audience a better understanding of how she feels about the marriage at the present time. After the flashback when it goes back to the time, when Shirley and her mates were at the pub chatting and making jokes about, "the Clitoris", Shirley mentioned it to Joe but he didn't take any notice of it and said, "it doesn't go as well as the Ford Cortina". We learn from this that Joe is ignorant about sex and that Shirley has no idea on what to do to put things right. Here, although the marriage was beginning to lose spice at least she could laugh about it. The "chips an' egg", incident caused further declining of Shirley and Joe's marriage. This scene emphasises that it was Joe's fault that their marriage was breaking apart. It would not have been like this if for once Joe did something others wanted him to do. "I'm not eatin' this. I am not eatin' shite!" He never understood Shirley and in the end he had gone to far. In doing so he pushed her away. You get the impression that she sees it as a disaster zone, always arguing and fighting and no escape. Voiceovers and camera close ups play an important technique, to give the audience once again a visual and verbal impression of her feelings and mood. During the middle section of the screenplay there is scenes were Joe is dominating towards Shirley and is raising his voice to instruct her that she isn't going to Greece. ...read more.

Conclusion

"I've fallen in love with the idea of living." Willy Russell uses the word 'living', which emphasise the point that she didn't feel as live as she does now. The rapid cutting between scenes shows us Shirley's busy lifestyle in Greece while we see a phone call with Joe. This is done so the audience can see the difference in lifestyles that can be led by her. Shirley Valentine is an example of Kitchen Sink Drama. It is a term applied in the late 1950s, which portrayed working class or lower, middle class life with an emphasis on domestic realism. Shirley Valentine leans upon the traditions of it but has been adapted for a modern audience in that Shirley does find some fulfilment at the end of the play. The reason why Shirley Valentine is a Kitchen Sink Drama is because she herself is a working class woman doing all the domestic jobs around the house. She is always in the kitchen or by the kitchen sink and this was shown to us straight away as Shirley was introduced to us in the kitchen. Another reason is that she has not yet fulfilled her dreams or ambitions and is trapped in realistic social situations meaning her marriage. Russell uses convections of K.S.D to highlight Shirley's character change. Other examples of K.S.D are "Look back at Anger" and "A Taste of Honey". The main changes, which took place in Shirley as a character was that, she adapted extremely well to her new lifestyle. Which reveals to us that she is adaptable to new situations. Meanwhile in Greece she captures her true identity by self-contentment and self-discovery "always Shirley Valentine" which gives her more confidence to acquires equality in her marriage. This essay analysed how Shirley changed during the screenplay and the way the dramatic devices were organised to reveal the important changes, which changed our views immediately to give us a better understanding of her character. ...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 Shirley Valentine 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 Shirley Valentine essays

  1. Character study of Shirley Valentine.

    She feels even more inadequate and out of touch than ever. Shirley has two children, Millandra and Brian. She loves her children, but can't help feeling a little bit disappointed in them. As we see in flashback four, Brian takes her to his new house.

  2. "Comedy is the best way for us to learn the truth aboutourselves" according to ...

    lover who she is going to Greece with "oh im not buying them for our millandra, Gillian im buying them for myself and wearing them for my lover" this is know as situation comedy this is the presentation of humorous situations which happen in everyday life and sometimes over exaggerating them to make it funny.

  1. Shirley Valentine. How does Russell invite the audience to sympathise with Shirley?

    The flashbacks help the audience view changes in Shirley. The images of the past remind us of the dreams she once had which have faded away now. Shirley regained her dreams and confidence whilst she was in Greece without her children, without Jane and most of all without she became Shirley Valentine again.

  2. Shirley Valentine

    against the door and sighs, this goes to illustrate her boredom and exhaustion of what she does for a living. After putting her bags on the table she turns to the wall and says "Hello wall," which emphasises her loneliness by talking to the wall.

  1. How does Willy Russell use dramatic devices to explore the issues and themes of ...

    Their qualities, morals and backgrounds would never be exactly the same. During the play, Shirley realises that she wants to break out of her confining stereotype and discover herself, so she can blossom as a person. However, Shirley's controlling husband Joe is terrified of change.

  2. How does Shirley change in the course of the play and how is the ...

    She walks into the kitchen and begins to talk to the wall. This immediately suggests that Shirley seems trapped and lonely. We are lead to believe this because she has no one to talk to and share her feelings with, other than a wall.

  1. Shirley Valentine - review

    It's last. It's crap and I hate it. This shows she stops putting effort in life and thinks that even if she tries she will fail. This is yet another change Russell has shown through flashbacks and this seems the most important change of her life. This is the point in life where she stops trying which might

  2. Economic comparisons of First world countries and their GDP.

    The Italian government publicizes it's Green Plan for farmer's credit, workers still drift to the industrial cities such as Genoa and Turin. Two and a half times as many people work un industry as on the land. 42.3 % of Italy's work force works in variou industrial sectors, only 15.1% work in agriculture and 1.7% are in the military.

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