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GCSE: Alan Bennet

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  1. How does Bennett create sympathy for Doris in "A cream cracker under the settee"?

    For instance Zulema treats her like a child when she's cleaning Doris' house E.G "Doris do not attempt to dust. The dusting is my Department. That's what the council pays me for. You are now a lady of leisure. Your dusting days are over." And "Doris. I don't want to hear you've been touching the Ewbank. Is out of bounds." Here this is wear she is mainly treated like a little child. By telling Doris what to do like: Don't touch the Ewbank or don't attempt to dust.

    • Word count: 693
  2. How Does Alan Bennett Reveal The Speaker in 'A Lady of Letters' And Provoke Both Humour And Sadness In The Audience.

    The character is speaking to them directly in the mode of a soliloquy, engaging the audience to the maximum. In using this form the playwright also creates audience/actress interaction, with the viewers playing the role of the confidant, and the speaker confiding in them, becoming the friends that are lacking in the speakers life. One of the many things Irene reveals to the audience is the death of her mother, the only person to provide her with a sense of belonging. 'My mother knew everybody in this street.' This then brings the audience to realise that it was this bereavement that triggered Irene's obsessive letter writing, and that she subconsciously adopts this obsession as a means of gaining contact with the outside world, as well as gaining some kind of recognition.

    • Word count: 2026
  3. What is waiting for the Telegram about and how does it work as a drama?

    Therefore, Alan Bennett tries to get us to realise that we do not expect older people to feel love. He shocks us as we see that she loves Francis. As Violet is nearly one hundred, you would assume that someone of this age has a different attitude towards things than those of a younger generation in the play. Alan Bennett illustrates to us how older views of the world clash with the outlook of a younger generation; this is shown when Violet says 'The black lady.' Verity, her speech therapist tells her to say 'The lady in the yellow frock.'

    • Word count: 1637
  4. Talking heads - A lady of letters.

    The play is set in a simply furnished room, which hints at her very simple and aimless life. She also talks a lot about things that have happened to her and she hardly mentions friends or family. There is also a big suggestion to how lonely and simple her life is in that she spends a lot of time reading and replying to a card that the opticians have sent her. "A card came from the opticians this morning...I thought that it was nice so I took my trusty Platinum and dashed off an answer forthwith." Most people would see that the opticians were purely trying to make money out of her but she is oblivious to this

    • Word count: 867
  5. A Cream cracker under the settee.

    The reason why she says the line like that is because she feels upset and maybe a bit angry those policemen are not around much anymore. After this line is said the camera cuts to outside Doris' house, it then goes into slow motion and a ghostly figure of a policeman walks past and the starts to fade away. All surrounding noises are blanked out and the noise of the footsteps are emphasised. The reason for this is to show how Doris is picturing the police problem and how the street seems ghostly and inhospitable.

    • Word count: 1091
  6. Explain how Alan Bennett conveys the changes that take place in Miss Ruddock, during the course of the monologue?

    When she pretended to have a place in society, she combined a mixture of formal English, that sounds artificial and her local dialect to achieve this. Miss Ruddock also seems to be very lonely. This is because, she looks out at people's lives, without actually interacting with them and she uses her letters as a way of communication. From one point of view we feel sorry for Miss Ruddock, because we as an audience think she is writing pointless letters, which is not going to have any affect on the crematorium as it is not worth complaining about.

    • Word count: 3706
  7. Evil has been present since the beginning of time causing many conflicts throughout the world. It is an inborn and nurtured behaviour, which can be heightened by one's surrounding environment.

    Some people just shouldn't have babies". (216) This expression of anger towards the Crane's has no bearing on Miss Strangeworth. It is an id driven letter that is hurtful to the Crane's with no guilt or consideration towards them. The thought of others is not relevant to Miss Strangeworth; however, the thought of being caught is definitely a concern. Not only does Miss Strangeworth send hurtful letters but also the letters remain nameless with no trace of who may have sent them.

    • Word count: 636
  8. Born in Yorkshire in 1934, Alan Bennett.

    As he says, the people he writes about are 'part of a story to the meaning of which they are not entirely privy' (Observer.co.uk. Accessed 21/01/03) A reflection of Bennett's own sexuality can be seen in the character of Graham in A Chip in the Sugar, who is portrayed as an uncomfortable h********l. Bennett described his sexuality during an interview in the New Yorker in 1993 thus 'I'd always been in love with guys...but always unhappily' (Observer.co.uk. Accessed 21/01/03) Although not included in the collections of Talking Heads, the concept actually started with 'A Woman of No Importance', which was first televised in 1982.

    • Word count: 2514
  9. Goodbye to all that.

    Never mind, she says to her reflection. I must be tired. I'll just sleep it off. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Her reflection seems to grin wickedly at this pathetic hope. As she gets into bed, she says the same little prayer every night, for her parents to be happy, for herself that she might not lead such a lonely life and that she might miraculously get better one day, that tomorrow might be better than today. But somehow, each day seems to get impossibly worse than the last one. She falls into a rocky dream.

    • Word count: 612
  10. There are certain things that you expect to see when you go to watch a traditional conventional play.

    She does not realise she is doing any harm by writing the letters, this may be because in formal letters you do not receive much emotion and letters being the only real contact she has with the outside world she doesn't realise how much she is hurting people. If she spoke to the people she would see how people react to the things she does and says, pick up emotion in tone of voice and body language and possibly realise what she is doing.

    • Word count: 1374
  11. How is the monologue form effective in Allan Bennett's portrait of Dorisin a Cream Cracker under the Settee?

    Doris tells us Zuleema says. Doris reacts with cheeky or sarcastic comments, letting us know that she is not bothered and knows that Zuleema is just trying to influence her, "They don't put people in Stafford House just for running around with the Ewbank." Doris doesn't want to be stuck in a place where she will be treated like an invalid. She has an opinion of the home, although it doesn't seem to be based on any real experiences, "I don't want to be stuck with a lot of old lasses.

    • Word count: 968
  12. A Cream Cracker Under The Settee - Imagine you are directing the play for television. How would you do it and why?

    This is because in the play Doris speaks of her husband and her discussing weather to have a bush. Doris says, "I didn't even want the bush to be quite honest". The inside of the house would have a lot of old pieces of furniture. The furniture would probably be of a set because Doris' character is quite neat and would have things that match. The specific pieces of furniture I would have are a settee, an ewbank, a chair and a buffet. This is because these are the main pieces of furniture mentioned in the script. The walls would have dull wallpaper instead of paint.

    • Word count: 1197
  13. In What Sense Can Bennett's Monologues Be Seen As Studies In Loneliness And Isolation? Discuss This In Relation To 'A Chip In The Sugar' And 'Her Big Chance'

    Neither characters Lesley or Graham is accepted into the Society. As a reader you are given the impression that Lesley is being taken advantage of with out even realising. Bennett uses this to show how the society acts towards people and the way in which they mistreat people. This is also shown in 'A Chip In The Sugar' by the way in which Graham is treated by the society. Mr Turnbull may be seen as a metaphor as to represent the society; Mr Turnbull does not attempt to include Graham in his conversations or jokes with mother.

    • Word count: 1082
  14. How does Alan Bennet present the relationship between Graham and his mother and Doris and her husband in a chip in the sugar and a cracker under the settee?

    Evidence: Graham acts like a husband to his mother (Vera) we can tell this because Vera said I do love you, I love you too said Graham this shows us that his mum doesn't have the relationship with Graham as Graham would like and that Graham may have took what his mum said the wrong way. Evidence: Graham tries to influence her(his mother) we can tell this because he said to his mother now the caf´┐Ż we generally patronise is just that little bit different, this shows us that his influence on her in this piece of text is that he wants her to spend every moment with him.

    • Word count: 1137
  15. A Cream Cracker under the Settee

    It is an interesting contrast how Wilfred seeks to create in some sense unlike Doris who will only conserve and preserve. Doris then decides to see if she can get to the front door and open it and wait till someone walks past. A full camera shot of Doris shows her struggling to lift her self up so she can move to the front door. Now slumped up against the door, with the letterbox above her head looking very tired and worn out; Doris begins to bring more of her past into the monologue; she talks of miscarrying John the baby.

    • Word count: 1251
  16. Consider the dramatic effectiveness of Alan Bennett's "A cream cracker under the settee".

    (pause) Ought to have had a dog." This is one example of the many ways Bennett has utilised 'pause'; it is also used in the play as a 'thinking time' for the audience, allowing a dramatic line to 'sink in'; "Oh h**l, the flaming buffet went over. (pause) You feel such a fool." The pause in the last quote also doubles as a time for the audience to picture a previous scenario, such as the buffet going over and causing Doris to fall. Yet another significant use of pause is found at the end of the play, where Doris's last hope of rescue had gone.

    • Word count: 1108
  17. In this assignment I am going to explain how effective Alan Bennett's monologues are as dramas.

    While putting this across to the viewers she uses gestures suggesting that Rex is not as professional and devoted to the job as her. In these plays there is only a single actor/actress in these cases "Leslie" and "Doris" with all the other characters seen through the eyes of the main character. This does not give us the chance to have our own opinions about the other characters but gives us the views and opinions of the main character. This is useful on both plays as although it tells us less about sub characters it tells us a lot more about "Leslie" and "Doris" and their feelings about the people around them.

    • Word count: 1243
  18. 'In his Talking Heads plays Alan Bennett presents vivid portraits of human frailty and challenges us to respond to them'. Discuss this statement with references to

    This shot focuses on something in detail and this was used a lot when Graham was talking. They did this because in the play facial expressions and feelings were very important and they wanted to get the impression of Graham across very early. They wanted you to see that he was very quite, and not very confident. They also fade out at the end of the scene a lot to change scenes. In the play music is used to enhance the mood or reflect the images being shown.

    • Word count: 2221
  19. Parody of a Murder Investigation - Who dunnit?

    Mrs. Bennett went to unlock the door and let the Detective in. He came alone, smoking a pipe, and wearing a long brown coat and a deerstalker. (Even though there were no deer's in sight or had anything to do with the death) "Sorry I didn't come quicker," he remarked. "I took my time seeing as he's already dead and one quick glance tells me who the murderer is" There were some murmurs of surprise ad some gasps of shock from the guests. Mrs. Bennett looked very tense. No one had mentioned a murder, just a death. "It's definitely the butler, it always is in these cases, now where is he?" Mrs.

    • Word count: 1146
  20. A Cream Cracker Under The Settee

    Zuleema talks through Doris to give the audience a feel of how Doris is being treated. Doris appears to pause before changing the subject, this shows that she thinks about what she is going to say before saying it. When she talks about the past she makes us feel that everything was perfect in the past and that things have changed a lot. Doris keeps looking at her cracked wedding photo, this shows that she misses Wilfred and her past a lot. The playwright, Alan Bennet has chosen to set his play in a living room.

    • Word count: 1698
  21. Talking Heads monologue - I will be talking about how Doris, one lady from 'Cream cracker under the settee' and Irene, the other lady in 'Lady of letters' are suffering from loneliness.

    Both these monologues don't have a grouped name such as, action, horror or comedy but if I had to catorgise these monologues, I would say they are 'real life tragedy's'. There are the little side comments which the author for both monologues, Bennett, has made to make the make the audience giggle but the whereas the individuals in the monologue, in this case Doris or Irene, aren't aware that whatever they are doing is quite amusing. For instance, when Irene is complaining about the smallest things and turns them into some massive horror.

    • Word count: 1906
  22. Commentary on my response to ‘A cream Cracker under the settee’-By Alan Bennet

    Pause Stafford House from the outside is very pleasant and follows inside too. The decoration is nice; the walls are all wallpapered nicely, not as well as my Wilfred could do it though. I even have my own room; in my room there is a bed and a bedside table where I have my clock and my picture of Wilfred beside me. So when I am asleep Wilfred is always beside me. I also have my wireless next to me, so when I sit down I can listen to my favourite broadcaster. Wilfred brought me that wireless; and it still works, he brought me that when we were dating together that was some time ago, when I was a young lass.

    • Word count: 1413
  23. The day after the slaughtering of the rabbits Mr Fletcher woke up as usual

    Mr Fletcher shouted you b****y b***h. As Mr and Mrs Fletcher had an argument over Mr Fletcher and his rabbits, she was getting him about the affair he had but using the rabbits as an excuse. Mrs Fletcher thought that Mr Fletcher was still seeing this woman who he had an affair with a long time ago. She used to say that he was always in a hurry on the way out of the house. Mrs Fletcher had confronted Mr Fletcher about the affair she asked him if it was still going on, Mr Fletcher told her the

    • Word count: 546
  24. Explore the idea that it is Bennett’s ability to create a Unique voice for each of his characters which provides The main interest in these monologues.

    The audience, therefore, laughs at their situations and at their pretentious behaviour and often their ignorance within those situations. Bennett says that his characters are "artless" and that they "don't quite know what they are saying". It must be noted that Bennett's humour is often at the expense of other peoples suffering, each of the stories deal with serious and relevant issues for which our laughter may not be appropriate. For example, in Bed among the Lentils, Susan is an alcoholic, and her behaviour during the flower arrangement is due to drunkenness, and in normal circumstances we would not find that, or her adulterous relationship with an Indian shopkeeper at all amusing, the fact that we do is because of her biting turn of phase and Bennett's talent for delivering his barbs with brilliantly chosen wit.

    • Word count: 1472
  25. Although A Cream Cracker Under the Settee is a dramatic monologue we are presented with a range of characters. Show how Bennett presents these characters and consider how realistic you find them.

    It is obviously set in England, at least Britain. We are able to deduct this from Doris' northern accent. There are also a few clues in the north country dialect used in her speech. One example is the word 'sneck' in line 41 and the phrase 'swill the flags' in the third paragraph (meaning scrub the pavement). A sneck is an informal word, used to refer to the latches on the outside gate. While Zuleema is trying to convince Doris that retirement homes are not such a bad place to be, she mentions 'They go on trips to Wharfdale.'

    • Word count: 3181

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