Review of Short Story

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  • Topic: Alan Bennett, Writing, Maggie Smith
  • Pages : 2 (492 words )
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  • Published : April 18, 2013
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How does Alan Bennet present modern society in the monologue "A lady of letters" and what do we wlearn about it's effects on the people through the character Irene Ruddock?

Alan Bennet shows society split in two.He shows the divide in age between society and the generational conflict that holds the generations apart.

Irene Ruddock hides herself away from society because she doesn't understand it. She reacts badly to things she finds in modern society. She complains to various people through her letters, and this genreally has a bad effect of what she writes about. For instance, she wries to the chemist, saying that his wife is a prostitueand this obvioulsy stirred up some anger. She had no proof to support her allegations but she wrote the letter regardless. The conclusion that we can draw from this is that Miss Ruddock makes snap judgements about people. This shows us how Irene Ruddock feels towards society.

We are given insight inot why Irene Ruddock is so unprepared for society. Irenes's mother obviously ruled over her,and didn't let her fully experience youth.

A Lady of Letters Alan Bennett wrote 'A Lady of Letters' in 1987. It is a dramatic monologue from the 'Talking heads' collection and was written for Patricia Routledge. This satirical tragic-comedy is about a middle aged woman called Irene Ruddock who writes letters of criticism and the short period in her life when her letter writing is most malicious and trouble making. She is judgemental and likes to look down on people, as if she is better than everyone, when really she isn't. Her mixed up life leads us away from the irony near the end of the play. Bennett came from a lower middle-class family and grew up in Yorkshire. He graduated from Oxford University in the 1960's and became a television star who was nominated for an Oscar. Bennett's 'Talking heads' series has been described as "gossip as drama" as he uses characters from lower-middle classes.

It would seem Miss Ruddock has led...
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