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To what extent can we trust Wilfred, in Alan Bennett's 'Playing Sandwiches'

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Introduction

To What extent can we trust, Wilfred, in Alan Bennett's play, Playing Sandwich's? The play, Playing Sandwiches, is one in a series of dramatic monologues, named Talking heads, written and directed by Alan Bennett for the BBC. There were two series of Talking Heads one released in 1988 and the other a decade later in 1999. The series deals with many different subjects, although there are a few recurring themes, such as; death, illness, guilt and isolation. I believe there to be a lot of guilt in this particular play. The writer/director of Playing Sandwiches, Alan Bennett, was born in Leeds on May 9th 1934. He attended Oxford University, studying History and performed with The Oxford Revue. Alan taught at the University before going on to write and perform his debut play, Beyond the Fringe in 1960, which brought him instant fame. He then turned to writing full time and created; The Madness of George III, the monologue series Talking Heads and the play The History Boys. Playing Sandwiches was broadcast in 1999, during this time there was a mass moral panic about paedophiles. If a man was or seemed a little odd, he would be harassed and attacked by anti-paedophile mobs. ...read more.

Middle

'They come over the wall on a night after The Woodman's turned out, lie down drunk in all that filth and stench and do it. They do it in the playground too, laid down over one end of the slide where the kiddies slide along with their bottoms, then just chuck the evidence down anywhere.' Wilfred is portrayed to care truly for the innocence of children, and shows true hatred for people spoil that innocence in and around where the children play. The audience automatically assume if he is so against people having sex in the bushes, he is a truly good man! Lastly, at the house after the christening. Wilfred is sat outside and notices the very large Alsatian wondering around all of the defenceless children; 'There are kiddies all over the place, though, and what with Pete's Alsatian plunging around, sheer bedlam. That's irresponsible in my view, a dog that size when there are kiddies about. One snap and they're scarred for life.' Once again Wilfred's companionate side is shown, as he defends the children and points out that they are not being treated as well as they should be. His caring and warm attitude makes the audience put anormass trust in Wilfred, even though they do not know much about him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Only my hand was a fist, honestly. Tight, she couldn't get in. "There's nothing in there for you" I said, "I don't have anything for little girls, My shop's closed." "No it's not" she says and slips her little finger in between my fingers and wiggles it about and looks at me and laughs. She laughs again. She knew what she was doing. She must have known what she was doing. So I took her into the bushes.' It is now clear to all, that Wilfred is a monster. To what extent can we trust the character, Wilfred? In my opinion, I do not believe that we can trust Wilfred about most of what he says in his monologue. We are instantly forced into believing what Wilfred says, this is because it is, in fact, a monologue! We only have the Wilfred's point of view. However, once we discover that he is a paedophile, we find it difficult to tell when he is lying or telling the truth. For example, when Wilfred comes into contact with children, are we to believe that it was an innocent act? Or is he pending resuming his wicked, old ways! How much can we honestly trust Wilfred, after it is clear he is a paedophile? Faye Fenwick. ...read more.

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