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Talking Heads

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Wednesday, 31 January 2007 Philip Partridge English Talking Heads - Who do I feel the most sympathetic towards? In the following essay I shall attempt to explain two characters from the Talking Heads monologue written by Alan Bennet. The characters in question are Irene Ruddock, and Graham. The question posed is who do I feel the most sympathy for. I shall start by giving a brief sketch on the two characters. Irene Ruddock leads a lonely life of little existence. She spends all of her time writing off letters of complaint and making assumptions about other people that are completely wrong. The way in which she is portrayed by the author comes across to one, as if she is a depressed state of mind. The author gives the impression that Irene leads a sheltered life, one that is free of any emotion and empathy for others, and that she hasn't learnt about the outside world with reference to swear words and bad language and about the opposite sex. ...read more.


Graham comes across as very intellectual but rather a snobby individual. He reads the Guardian and uses complex words. Hinting that he may have had a good education .He is always smartly dressed, wearing a suit and tie all the time. It comes across that Graham has a sheltered life, almost in a similar way to Irene, having spent all of his life living at his Mother's house. At first Graham, comes across as a single bachelor, with no girlfriend, however when his mother makes reference to the male pornographic magazines that are kept under his bed, it becomes clear that he is gay but one who has not admitted his feelings. Graham also mentions Dr Choudary, and as more description is given about Graham, it shows that Graham goes to meetings, mostly during the day throughout the week, He meets people and while not make close friends it is a change compared to staying in, which allows Graham to become socially interactive. ...read more.


I feel I am more sympathetic to Irene, as even though she has caused a lot of pain, it is clear that the shock of Prison, yet the close community that it has helped Irene gain confidence and friendships, and see that maybe it is best to keep some of one's thoughts to one's self. Yet Graham fails, to make any impression, because of his selfishness, and unwillingness to let his mother enjoy herself and his unwillingness to help himself, it gives the impression that he isn't bothered with himself and as such why should anyone bother. His cold and manipulative personality is used only when he wants something, where as Irene uses her skill to make a change for good, even though it often does more harm than good. Its because of Irene's development and positivity when in Prison that makes a difference to her life, for this it makes me feel more sympathetic to Irene rather than towards Graham. 1 ...read more.

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