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Within the confines of a Monologue, how does Bennett create and maintain interest in the play 'A Cream Cracker under the Settee'

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Introduction

Within the confines of a Monologue, how does Bennett create and maintain interest in the play 'A Cream Cracker under the Settee' 'A cream cracker under the settee' is a dramatic monologue. A monologue is a drama piece performed by only one person. By explaining the characterization, humor, timescale and pauses of this monologue this essay will look at the ways Alan Bennett holds the interest of the audience. The monologue is told by a 75 year old woman whose name is Doris. Doris is a down to earth Yorkshire widow. It is a day in her life when she recalls past memories and explains a lot about her past. Doris is a lady who takes a lot of pride in keeping her home spotlessly clean and tidy. Bennett has managed to introduce other characters into the monologue other than Doris through Doris's memories and thoughts. The woman named Zulema is Doris's home help sent by the council, doing the jobs which Doris would be unable to do. Doris disapproves of her as she has high standards and in her opinion, Zulema only half dusts, and Doris is upset to find things that she would never miss, being missed. ...read more.

Middle

Wilfred always told Doris not to worry when things needed doing 'I've got it on my list. I never saw no list. He had no list. I was the one with the list'. Jobs which Wilfred said he would do were the loose sneck on the gate and the allotment, which Wilfred said would allow himself and Doris to become 'self sufficient in the vegetable department', it never materialized. The language Bennett uses in the monologue portrays Doris's age. Doris calls Wilfred Dad, Wilfred calls Doris Mum, this links to the older generation as terms of endearment. Doris uses language which nowadays people would not use, such as 'He's spending a penny' terms such as this would not be used very often or at all in the present day. Bennett has made Doris's attitude towards the younger generation very arrogant. She complains a lot about them, she sees them as being very disrespectful, I think she thinks that people shouldn't live together unless they are married 'I don't think they're married half of them' Doris judges people before actually getting to know them and in doing so has no friends around her, it is mainly her fault for not trying to get to know her neighbors. ...read more.

Conclusion

' This must have made Doris feel so alone and unhappy, losing someone so close to you and no one around you seems to care. Something which Bennett uses to great effect is the use of time. The audience Is made to travel backwards and forwards through Doris's life piecing her life together. When Doris talks about how when she was younger, she speaks in a very flowing way using the word 'and' a lot through this part of the monologue, 'When people were clean and the streets were clean and it was all clean and you could walk down the street and folks smiled and passed the time of day...' this reflects Doris's happiness and how much more she enjoyed her life when she was younger and how much cleaner everything was which is what she is most concerned about. Though when Doris remembers about Stafford house her sentences become a lot sharper and to the point 'A home. Not me. No fear'. I feel this shows the fear that Doris has over Stafford house, she is afraid and does not want to ever end up going there. Bennett has a unique ability of bringing themes and characters into something which usually would just stick to one certain event and character. Bennett gives the audience an insight into an old woman's life, which becomes completely believable and real. ...read more.

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