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What dramatic devices does Willy Russell use to reveal the true character of Shirley Valentine to the audience?

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What dramatic devices does Willy Russell use to reveal the true character of Shirley Valentine to the audience? In the monologue 'Shirley Valentine', Willy Russell reveals Shirley's true character through different types of humour. He compares other characters feelings to Shirley's to express her own feelings more (as Shirley's feelings are determined by the actions of other characters) She is a typical housewife of the 1980's. The reader can relate to Shirley because she has such an average life. In the monologue, Willy Russell is showing the time in Shirley's life where she has the opportunity to leave her boring, average life behind. The other characters that Shirley introduces are compared to her because they are so different to her. Shirley's husband Joe is totally different to Shirley. When he comes home from work one evening he says that he is "pullin' me tripe out from mornin' till night and what does she give me when I get home. Chips an' egg." Joe expects things to be done his way and can't except change easily whereas Shirley is desperate for change and when it comes along she takes it in her stride. ...read more.


Shirley is already making changes in her life but when Millandra comes home, Shirley goes "straight back into being 'Auto-Mother'" This shows that Shirley is so used to doing everything for everyone that she is just going back to her old ways. Willy Russell has made this incident dramatic when she suddenly snaps out of being "Auto-Mother" and tells Millandra that she is going to Greece. When Shirley goes to Greece she almost forgets her life at home and trys to be as happy as she was when she met Joe. She meets Costas in Greece, and he claims that he "won't try to make foak with" Shirley, but she says "I knew Costas wouldn't keep his promise an' I didn't want him to as it was the most natural thing in the world" This shows that Shirley wants to 'go with the flow' of her life and not be tied down by rules but live the way she wants to. This is dramatic because she was such an average woman before hat was following on the straight and narrow and went by rules but now she is more relaxed and willing to do anything to feel happier. ...read more.


This is the attitude that Shirley is trying to escape from, she doesn't want to be around people that say one thing but mean another. Shirley's laid back look on life and "I can't be bothered to be treated like this anymore" attitude makes her stand out from her normal surroundings. She doesn't seem to fit in and is completely different to the other characters that are originally around her. In a way she seems a lot more intelligent than them as she is caring for everyone and is a slave in her own house and everyone else is only wrapped up in their own lives. No one else around her would be able to go to Greece on their own to get away from things, as they are already suited to their surroundings whereas Shirley isn't and the monologue is about her trying to find the place where she is meant to be. In conclusion, Willy Russell has cleverly used dramatic devices using humour, setting and other characters including the wall and the rock to help portray Shirley's true character to the audience. All quotes taken from the book: Shirley Valentine(Longman Literature) by Willy Russell and Roy Blatchford. ...read more.

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