lady of letters monologue

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A lady of letters is a monologue written by Alan Bennett. The main character is Irene Ruddock a middle aged woman who lives by herself after her late mother passed away a few months ago. She is portrayed to show loneliness and isolation that many people experienced in the 1980’s under Margaret Thatcher’s rule as prime minister.

Bennett uses a Monologue instead of a play, production and so on...The fact that a monologue is being used tells the audience something about Miss Ruddock. We realise that she is the only person ever speaking in the monologue and we then give an assumption that she has nothing better to do as she is never out and abut socialising with others, we never see a scene of her with others in her house which means she doesn’t like visitors and prefers to stay isolated from the outside community. The manner in which she talks as well gives us a clue that she is a lonely woman who really has nothing to do in life as every word spoken is emphasised and slowed down however we then later on at the end realise that our assumption of her being lonely and having nothing better to do which is why every word is emphasised and slowed down is true. This is due to the fact that when in jail Miss Ruddock ‘speaks very quickly and is radiant’ this stage direction immediately tells her she has something to talk about that is important and would be considered as ‘gossip’ because she has a lot of topics to cover and in reality many people talk fast when they have a lot of matters to discuss/talk about. By having these two different ways of speaking we realise that her surroundings had an impact on her personality and characteristics as the Miss Ruddock in the house and the Miss Ruddock in prison is the same person, however their personality and tone of voice are very different. Whereas most people would be sad, dull and be deprived of freedom in prison for Miss Ruddock it is the other way round Bennett illustrates this by adding in a line where she is talking of her freedom in prison, ‘Prison! This is the first taste of freedom I have had in years.’ Many would be intrigued by how one can experience freedom in prison, a place where you are isolated in a dull building with nothing to do. This though, is not the case for Miss Ruddock who finds prison a place of freedom and a way to socialise this tells us that she was so isolated and lonely in her home that prison seems more sociable and free to her.

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 Many at this time would feel sorry for her and realise that she always was a nice person but just needed a nudge in the right direction I however do not feel that this is right, personally I see her as a person who preferred to be isolated, a person who wanted to be lonely, a person who had the chance of freedom but kept turning it down as she is a middle aged woman who has no-one to stop her, she is not a kid or teenager and she isn’t married nor those she have kids so then why ...

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