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GCSE: Shirley Valentine
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For instance, how she is treated by her husband almost like a slave, how she is treated by her daughter who took her for granted, how she was treated by her intolerant teachers and finally the fact that she was born into a lower class. I believe that Russell is successful at making his readers feel sorry for her and in doing so he becomes a supporter of female rights. Russell writes the play with characters trapped in realistic social situation.
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On top of this Willy Russell grew up in a materialistic atmosphere, this taught him to view the world for many women during the 1980's. This story portrays Willy Russell's life except it's in a more entertaining way. Will Russels uses many characters in the Shirley Valentine to make us sympathise for Shirley. One of the main characters is Millandra, Millandra treats her mother Shirley with a lack of respect, she expects her mother to do all the work for her.
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Allowing us to feel sympathy towards her. Chronologically the earliest flash back was of high school when she was discriminated against for being working class, for example once the head mistress said "oh do put your hand down Shirley you could not possibly know the answer" which was clear discrimination of her originating from a working class background. That quote indicated the unfairness of Shirley's school life of being mistreated and outcast by people who have not even met her.
- Word count: 1980
This shows us that she is so bored out of her mind that she resorts to talking to the wall. As she is talking to the wall this shows the audience that she is very lonely and this makes the audience sympathetic to Shirley. Another technique that the author uses in the play is that as this play is a monolog it is only herself talking and there is no-one else, just like in her life, she is telling the audience things but she is directing it at the wall, "Don't I wall?"
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Similarly, The colour schemes used in the images are blues and purples which symbolises a connotation of sadness and depression, also the colour white indicates plain/ emptiness, these visual devices show a replication of the Shirley's life as a whole. Shirley has an unsociable life and that builds up to her being a woman with a lack of confidence and a woman who avoids any form of confrontation, in order to get by in life . To add to this, the song's lyrics portrays the link between Shirley "the girl who used to be me, used to be free".
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The play was written by Willy Russell; he was born in 1947 and raised in Liverpool. Russell was brought up in a working class family. He writes about his early adult experiences, by working as a ladies hair dresser and always hearing working class people's stories. The genre of the play is influenced by kitchen sink drama because it concerns working class lives, social problems and relationships. The play includes working class lives and relationship problems to fit in with kitchen sink drama. Although it is situated in Liverpool house at the beginning it is no totally a kitchen sink drama as unlike typical kitchen sink dramas it does not end in depressing note..
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He uses words like 'you little bugger' and 'you're a bloody head case'. Some people may find this offensive but I think it sets a joyful scene. The language is appropriate and funny. Russell uses the swear words to a good quantity, enough to not get too rude and enough to have a laugh about. There is a bit of word play used as well like when Shirley say's 'here, Van Gogh' and Joe replies 'this is for you moaning Lisa' this shows that they are young, happy and free.
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She decided that we should no longer be living in a welfare state. A state that Edward Heath created after the war to give the country stability. He provided Britain with The NHS, housing estates, better education, transport and benefits leading to TAX and National Insurance. Thatcher believed the state should now have a lesser role and people would have to work themselves out of poverty. Margaret Thatcher was responsible for the 'right to buy' scheme. Enabling council house residents to buy their homes at a discounted rate.
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We see a picture of her street dissolve to the actual street and enter her household. The first time we see Shirley is when she walks into shot wearing a dull grey Mac and wearing very restrained and plain clothing. This shows this that she doesn't want to be noticed. This also possibly suggests that she doesn't care about the way she presents herself and the way she looks. However, the persistence of her wearing very noticeable earrings demonstrates that there is promise for her becoming an extroverted character. Wearing bold and colourful earrings in the 1980's also means that you were very out-going and keen which also is a sign that Shirley would like to be a bit more like her earrings and less like the other clothes that she wears.
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A Beautiful Thing coursework The character of Sandra has many good characteristics. One of these is her generosity. For example
Sandra also comes across as a very hard working character both at home and at work. For example she won barmaid of the year awards despite being a single parent and having to raise a child on her own. A quote that shows that Sandra is hardworking would be "This is my living and I'm bloody good at it". This again shows Sandra determination to do better she works hard and is very proud of what she achieves. Another of Sandra's good qualities would be the fact that she is very accepting. The main example of this would be when she accepts Jaime when he tells her that he is gay.
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How does Willy Russell use dramatic devices to allow the audience to see many different sides of Shirley
This technique of writing is used to highlight the fact that she is a very bored, lonely housewife. The Liverpudlian accent chosen deliberately by the author represents a working class middle aged housewife. This is another dramatic device to show that there is nothing 'high status' about her lifestyle; she is very ordinary. Another major dramatic device used by Willy Russell, is that in the monologue, Shirley talks to the wall, which highlights her utter loneliness and maybe even lack of self worth, the only thing that is interested in her is the wall. This is pointed out when she says " I like a glass of wine when I'm doin' the cookin'.
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Joe You're a bloody loon Shirley you aint changed one bit. It's eight o' clock at night. Shirley I know but wouldn't it be romantic you and me under the stars sipping a carafe of wine together. Joe No it would not Shirley I have traveled all this way to find you and it's a Thursday so I want me tea now. Because its Thursday I want me usual steak and chips, don't think you have got away with it just because your in some backwards country, don't forget your vows Shirley Bradshaw when you married me you agreed to look after me in sickness and in health and if you don't look after me I will be sick!
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To what extent do Thelma and Louise and Shirley Valentine tell stories from a women's point of view about women's real life problems.'
Thelma and Louise a road film featuring two women who are trying to run away from the law because Louise has shot a man who was trying to rape Thelma. Throughout their journey they go on a quest of self-discovery realising the mistakes they have made in life and finding their true identity among the ravages their partners have made of their character. Shirley Valentine similarly features a woman who goes on holiday to discover that she has lost herself, the person she once was 'Shirley Valentine' and become a slave, a typical housewife that always fulfils her husband's wishes.
- Word count: 1927
Marjorie's stereotype changes. In Shirley's flashback of school, Marjorie is a stereotypical 'teacher's pet'. She was bright, well behaved and had elocution lessons. Shirley is shocked by the change in Marjorie. Her expectations, based on the stereotype established in school, were completely demolished and Willy Russell points out to the audience how foolish it is to 'label' people and not expect them to develop or change out of the narrow parameters ascribed to them. The fact that Shirley expected Marjorie to have a good job demonstrates how we all, even if only subconsciously, make judgements on what we see.
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As the film begins the setting alone is enough to show the mood Shirley is in and set the ton for the beginning of the play. A very dull grey sky, streets, which are littered in a very working class area of Liverpool. The setting suggests that Shirley is feeling depressed and sad, which her facial expression also suggests. Willy Russell uses flashbacks in the play so the audience gets to know Shirley better. The flashbacks show us how Shirley's personality has changed and what events have influenced that change.
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This would make us think that the movie is about Shirley and her unsatisfied life. The film opens with Shirley doing one of her domestic activities. She's carrying her bags of shopping in to the kitchen in a uncheery manner. Shirley then closes the door and leans against it . A moment later we have her talking to the wall "Hello wall" to indicate that she must be lonely and even shows us that she must be fed-up. Gillian pops by and asks Shirley to come over. Shirley (vo) said, "oooo she's got a brain tumour".
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“I believecomedy is the best way to learn the truth about ourselves. Maybe it’s noaccident that human beings are the only animals that laugh.” (Jack Rosenthal).What truths about human nature does Willy Russell hope to teach his audiencethro
Shirley however seizes the chance she is given by her best friend Jane and challenges her reality. Shirley follows her dream "I'd like to drink a glass of wine in a country where the grape is grown. Sittin' by the sea just sippin' wine and watching the sun go down." The audience see Shirley's character develop. Shirley starts off very unsure of herself but Jane gives her the confidence despite Joe's criticisms to be independent and make decisions for herself. This is also highlighted when Shirley buys a bikini. "With my stretch marks? I'd get arrested for bringin' the human form into disrepute."
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How does Willy Russell succeed in creating a believable and appealing character in his Heroine, for the play Shirley Valentine
Shirley's main dream is to go to Greece. Shirley is seen as a normal house wife, with two children that have left home, she has a husband, and she always sticks to her routine, for example she always cooks her husband Egg and Chips on Tuesday and Steak on Thursday. Shirley lives in a small semi-detached house with a small front garden. Also at the beginning of the play depict the scenes show Shirley doing her domestic activities such as cleaning, making beds and gardening. When she walks into the house the first thing she says is "Hello Wall," which puts the idea in our heads that she is lonely and bored and has arrived at what is commonly known as a mid life crisis.
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He'll realise that I don't want a life that's a monotonous routine. I learnt that on countdown yesterday! What do you think Wall? Ohhh Wall sorry I've talking in my head how could you of heard me, you're a good listener but you aren't psychic. Anyway I was just thinking about how I hope that Joe will realise that I'm going to start taking charge in the kitchen and I'm going to show it to him by changing his steak for eggs.
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How does the playwright, Willy Russell, make the strong, rebellious and independent aspects of Shirley’s character stand out against the dreary confines of the Liverpudlian kitchen sink setting where we first see her?
Another theme Russell explores is how other people's opinions and expectations influence you. This is shown in what Joe expects Shirley to have done when he gets home from work; this is also shown in the way Millandra reacts when Shirley tells her she is going to Greece. The theme of people feeling desperate is also shown when Joe throws the Chips and Egg over Shirley and she finally snaps and decides what she has to do. Another theme shown in the play is that of the daily grind of everyday life and feeling trapped.
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The first few flashbacks we see confirm what Shirley is feeling and how people take advantage of her. They show that her life is not her own, but it seems as though everyone else controls her. Her life is just so predicable and boring. She hardly ever goes out to have fun, and is very easily over-ruled. She envies people especially Gillian who is always jetting off to some exotic place whilst Shirley is at home looking after her husband, Joe. Shirley is basically Joe's slave he expects her to have everything ready for when he gets home: (E.g. Is it ready then? I get my tea at six o'clock and it's near ten past. What's goin' on?)
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Jane eventually convinces Shirley to accompany her on the holiday. Shirley and Jane leave in the day and they get on the plane to leave for Greece. When Joe gets in from work he finds a note attached to a Greek tourist poster pinned on the door saying 'gone to Greece, be back in two weeks'. The first additional scene takes place at Joe's work. A medium sized factory with workers in it. Joe walks in front of a moving forklift truck with his head facing the floor and nearly gets run over by it.
- Word count: 1904