• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

There are certain things that you expect to see when you go to watch a traditional conventional play.

Extracts from this document...


There are certain things that you expect to see when you go to watch a traditional conventional play. You may expect action, conflict and conversation among the actors; you expect to see emotions being expressed through dialogue and movement, though primarily you expect to see more that one actor on the stage. Unlike conventional plays the atypical monologue contains only one character. This narrator is often unreliable and it is up to the audience to watch the play and then judge the character. There is little action a monologue since as they mostly contain dialogue and are largely character driven. I consider monologues to have a greater affect on the audience because you engage in a much more superior insight into how the character feels. Genuinely without realising characters may twist or change a conversation they previously had in order to put their views across to the audience. They are not necessarily lying; they may have just interpreted the conversation in a slightly different way to how somebody else would have. Many of Alan Bennett's characters do not entirely understand themselves; he describes them as being "artless". Miss Ruddock is "artless" when she fails to understand why she has been required to stop penning her letters of complaint. ...read more.


She received a "charming letter back from director of operations at the crematorium" She tells us that the letter was full of clich�s like "jump on the culprits with both feet" and "come down on them like a ton of bricks" these have probably been added by Miss Ruddock because a man in such a high position who worked at a crematorium would not use such inappropriate phrases. It is the job of the audience in a monologue to judge the character and decide on what they think was and was not said; the real letter was probably more sophisticated and much plainer. Miss Ruddock does not realise that she is adding things into the letter that were not really in there when she is telling us about it, this is an example of how "artless" she is. She then sends a copy of the letter she received from the director of operations at the crematorium to the grieving family of the woman she had only met a few times on the bus. Another convention of "Talking Heads" is that the tone is often a mixture of tragedy and humour, moments of hopelessness together with by moments of humour. Miss Ruddock explains how she did not expect a reply from the family because whenever anyone died there is a "mass of correspondence." ...read more.


Also phrases like "temporary temple for the racial minorities" and "this other side's Asians so they wont know what's normal and what isn't" show that Miss Ruddock is very r****t which infers she is living in the past where people were not as politically correct. Like her letter writing, she doesn't realise that r****m is wrong. I think Bennett intended to show that although today's society is politically correct, some older generation people are living in the past and cannot change their views easily because they were often brought up with r****m around them. This character definitely follows the conventions of Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads", and all of the conventions relate to each other and all cause her unhappiness. Firstly Miss Ruddock dislikes change and prefers the security of routine, this leaves her in the past using words like "kiddy" while society changes, she is left an outsider trapped inside her small world, too "artless" to realise that change is the one thing she really needs to make her happy. The whole play is quite tragic. The title suggests that, aswell as having a high status, Miss Ruddock writes many letters, yet she finds herself having to talk through her life instead of writing about it, though she cannot separate herself from epistolary even when speaking to us which can be amusing. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Alan Bennet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Alan Bennet essays

  1. In A Lady of Letters how does Alan Bennett sustain the audiences interest in ...

    Also, Alan Bennett has furthered the concept of Miss Ruddock having found a better life in prison by having her acquire new skills and take courses on a secretary job in which she is successful and that she 'sailed' through.

  2. lady of letters monologue

    The change in personality ahs done her good as she is described as 'radiant', something she never was described before. One also notices the change in facial expressions as she is very stern and frowning most of the time at the beginning and middle of the monologue however when taken

  1. A Lady Of Letters Essay

    In the final section of the monologue Bennett concentrated more on humour, this is because.... In prison the inmates teach Irene about s*x education; it is humorous because of the character's situations and the language comedy. Even though Irene is middle aged and we would expect her to at least

  2. Modern Drama - Talking Heads

    The monologue starts off by telling us how she likes to write letters. We here Irene describe, with a lot of pride, some of the recent letters she has written to various people to complain about something she has seen or something she wants improving.

  1. How believable did you find the transformation of Miss Ruddock in Prison?

    Furthermore, the reader realises that she is extremely observant and notices a lot of detail. In addition, when she takes a trip to London she notices how much dog mess there is about, "I spotted some on the pavement right outside Buckingham Palace".

  2. Talking Heads

    Talking Heads relates to soaps such as Eastenders as many of the characters in soaps lead a miserable and Tragic Life. Several of the characters in talking heads have some sort of miserable situation, which links tragedy with normality. Irene and Doris are both lonely.

  1. Alan Bennett's purpose in writing

    "Them's her leaves." Bennett reveals the character through layers of meaning and dramatic irony. He uses colloquial and dialetic terms that are associated with particular social groups so the readers can associate with what she's saying. Bennett uses a single speaker - the old lady.

  2. A Lady of Letters.

    She has traditional values, for example she writes her letters using Basildon Bond paper and a fountain pen "I take out my trusty Platignam". She is lonely, so lonely that she goes to someone's funeral that she hardly knows just to get out of the house "At least it's an outing".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work