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A Cream Cracker Under the Sette

  • Date Submitted: 05/06/2011 08:30 AM
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English Literature
Twentieth Century Drama Coursework

How does Alan Bennett Create Sympathy for Doris in ‘A cream cracker under the Settee’.

Alan Bennett’s monologue ‘A Cream Cracker Under the Settee’ is an interior monologue in which Bennet uses to make his audience sympathise and understand the fears and challenges old people face in modern society. Bennett’s character, Doris, helps his audience to understand and perhaps sympathise with her challenges. The whole play is set in Doris’s living room and her corridors because she has fallen trying to dust. Like many elderly people, Doris thinks about the horrors of living in a care home and the loss of independence, the loneliness of living by her self and the pain and grief of remembering loved ones. Bennett creates sympathy to question the stereotypes of elderly people through the struggles that Doris has gone through, through the miscarriage of her baby and the loss of her husband; we sympathise with Doris as we see the damaging effects it has left on her. Although having gone through what she has gone through, Doris still manages to live her life with a bit of humour, we see this especially through her attitude about Stafford house and her fears of losing her independence. Bennett creates sympathy for elderly people as it seems that they don’t seem to have a lot of choice/ respect in today’s society, whereas in the past elderly people still had a sense of community and belonging.

Bennett creates sympathy through Doris’s home help Zulema who she comically refers to as “home hindrance”. Doris, who still thinks herself capable, does not like relying on Zulema and thinks she doesn’t reach her standards “she half dust”. Bennet uses short sentences to reflect the natural speech in which Doris is mimicking Zulema. Bennet uses threatening language “you can’t run anywhere” this makes Doris resent Zulema because she has all the power which makes Doris feel powerless and incapable. Sympathy is created in the way...


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