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What is the link between the title 'The Pressure Cooker' and the central character, Andrea? Explore the methods used by the playwrights throughout the play t show her increasing mental and emotional instability.

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Introduction

What is the link between the title 'The Pressure Cooker' and the central character, Andrea? Explore the methods used by the playwrights throughout the play t show her increasing mental and emotional instability. Throughout the play the central character, Andrea, gradually becomes mentally unstable as the story continues. The playwrights use the title "The Pressure Cooker" to demonstrate Andrea's emotional build up of stress and pressure. The cooker is used a metaphor to show Andrea's feelings. Her boyfriend, Graham, and best friend, Dawn, do not help the situation at all. In scene one, Andrea is really worried about telling her mum about her mock exam results, she knows she worked hard but her mum will not see the situation like that. She says 'She'll kill me', when she tells her mum. This shows Andrea's fear of he mother and she knows she will be in trouble. Her boyfriend also did badly but doesn't care. Her friend Dawn did really well, even though she didn't revise. To forget about the pressure she is under, Andrea decides to go to Dawn's house after school to watch a video. But Andrea's mum is expecting her home to cook diner. In Scene two, Andrea's mum is at home getting ready to go to a council meeting. ...read more.

Middle

In scene four, Andrea is reading a magazine when Dawn and Graham enter the fifth form room. Graham snatches the magazine and reads the problem page that Andrea was reading. He begins to read the questions and talks of how stupid they are. Dawn and Graham begin to play around and read problems to each other so that they can each answer them. Graham then reads the star letter and Andrea becomes very agitated and begins to loose control. While Graham is reading, Dawn realises that the reason Andrea is upset is that she had written the letter. Andrea snatches the magazine and Graham finally realises what had happened. Dawn feels really bad and thinks about seeing Andrea, but Graham wants to see a film so that took priority. This builds pressure on Andrea she has fallen out with her friends and they now know her secrets. This letter proves how unstable Andrea is becoming, she is desperate for help and the letter is directly saying how she feels. This is another method used by the playwrights, as it shows that as Andrea gets no support from the people in her life, she has to write a letter to a stranger for support. After Andrea has ran off Dawn says 'Poor Andrea. ...read more.

Conclusion

she is trying to escape from her mother and the continuous pressure she puts on her. Her best friend is supposed to offer comfort and support, but she goes behind Andrea's back by going out with her boyfriend, and not helping her in any way. Neither of her friends seem to really care about Andrea as they always push her aside and leave her out. Her brother Ian is very clever and at university. Andrea feels pressured by him to do well academically. She is under constant scrutiny from her mother to perform as well as Ian did in his exams. Andrea is compared to her brother regularly and is fed up of being seen by her mother as underachieving. Andrea's mental and emotional instability is caused by all the people in her life. She has nowhere to escape when everything goes wrong. She feels as though her world has completely fallen apart and she is unable to pick up the pieces. The pressure cooker describes exactly how she is feeling, she is constantly trying to let off pressure but it keeps building up until it can't take anymore. The audience would be able to relate to this as there are many metaphorical descriptions of how Andrea is really feeling. I.e. the pressure cooker, and the letter in the magazine. You can tell from the title what the play is going to contain as it creates images of stress and tension in your mind. ...read more.

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