A Cream cracker under the settee is a monologue by Alan Bennett. He tries to create a dramatic monologue that proves you don’t have to follow the typical stereotypes of every other film for it to be a success. Alan Bennett does this by having the normal characters, story line and plot you would expect for films but in an unconventional way. In the monologue there is only one actor that is Doris. Doris is an old lady in her seventies who lives on her completely on her own other than a social worker who comes to visit her every so often.Order now
Having only one character means the audience have to really concentrate on her and use their imagination to see the scenes of her life she talks about. As a single character, we see her just on her own; this shows the audience the truth of her situation and creates sympathy towards her character. During the monologues you only hear about Doris’ side to every story, so in cream cracker we don’t get Zulema’s view on things. If we did get her view the sympathy the audience feels towards Doris would probably be different so by just including Doris’ points of view Alan Bennett has been clever as to create the right attitude towards Doris.
We see Doris as a moaning bitter character; this is portrayed as she feels that Zulema is constantly bossing her around. “I was glad when she’d gone, dictating. ” The word dictating conveys the impression that Doris is inferior to Zulema. In a way, Zulema has power over Doris because she could report her and Doris could end up in a home, which is the thing that she fears most. Very early on in the monologue the audience feels pity for Doris, as it seems like she has lost her dignity as someone younger than her is giving the orders.
The audience see that Doris also seems to admire Zulema in a way as she is the only person she ever has contact with. Another person Doris has admired in her life was her late husband Wilfred. Doris loved her husband very much, but when she talks about him she doesn’t show it as she says nothing he does ever get finished. “It was the growing mushrooms in the cellar saga all over again. He never got round to it. ” This shows us that Wilfred was always putting things off. Doris always felt that a child would have solved all her problems.
A kiddy`d’ve solved all that. ” The one other important person in Doris’ life was her son. Doris’ son was a stillborn baby. She never really got over the loss of her son and was disgraced when the midwife said “It wasn’t fit to be called anything. ” It is shows that Doris has suffered over her loss and we come to realise that one of the reasons that Doris is on her own is because she has no children to look after her. This means that the audience sympathises with Doris for wishing that she had kids.
The language that Alan Bennett uses to portray Doris is he uses colloquial language; I think this is used to try and remind the audience of their own grandmothers. Using this technique helps to create sympathy towards Doris, and also adds more humour to the monologue which helps to keep the audience interested. Another technique that creates sympathy for Doris is showing her isolation as she feels trapped in her own home. Doris feels incapable to look after herself and feels that she isn’t allowed to do anything. “Doris. I don’t want to hear you have been touching the Ewbank.
The Ewbank is out of bounds. ” The phrase “out of bounds” gives the impression that Zulema is setting rules for Doris to follow in her own home. Not only is this patronising but it shows us just how much control Zulema has over Doris, making her feel incapable. Doris likes to be independent and won’t want to be bossed around. When Doris denies help from the police officer at the end of the play, this shows her courage. It shows that she would rather die in her own home being independent than go to Stafford House or admit she needs another persons help. No I’m alright. ”
Doris has had a lack of freedom for a long time and she feels like a stranger in her own community. “Don’t know anybody round here know more. ” This quotation suggests that Doris used to enjoy being in her village and thought it was a pleasant place to live where everybody knew everyone. Now that society has moved on and she doesn’t know any one and she feels trapped. The significance of the title “A cream cracker under the settee” has a very important role in the monologue.
The cream cracker is so important because when Doris finds it she feels like she has power over Zulema as she could easily report her to social services to try and get revenge on her. Under the settee suggests out of sight, out of mind this shows how Doris feels within society. I think that Alan Bennett uses the cracker as a metaphor for Doris showing how feels she is unnoticed and has grown old like the cracker, that a cracker snaps easily which shows the fragility of Doris. Another point is that crackers are quite boring and bland which represents Doris’s current life.