This essay sample essay on Telegram Call Says Waiting offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.
Alan Bennett’s ‘Waiting for the Telegram’ consists of just one character talking to an audience in this monologue. Violet is in her nineties and living in a nursing home, it is about her character now and how she is treated and her past life containing death, regret and life choices. In this essay, I will analyse the monologue on what it is about and how it works as a drama. In the monologue, through stories and actions, the author shows the grim reality of growing old.
This is evident when Violet sees her legs ‘”Them’s never my legs”‘ Alan Bennett is trying to demonstrate to us that older people do not realise how extensively they change physically and that they end up having everything done for them. However they still feel the same emotionally, as under the surface we come to realise that Violet feels love towards Francis, ‘It made you want to… (She mimes a kiss)… do that, whatever it’s called. ‘ Therefore, Alan Bennett tries to get us to realise that we do not expect older people to feel love. He shocks us as we see that she loves Francis.
What Is Mean By Telegram
As Violet is nearly one hundred, you would assume that someone of this age has a different attitude towards things than those of a younger generation in the play. Alan Bennett illustrates to us how older views of the world clash with the outlook of a younger generation; this is shown when Violet says ‘The black lady. ‘ Verity, her speech therapist tells her to say ‘The lady in the yellow frock. ‘ It is not politically correct to say ‘The black lady’, but we realise that the writer is trying to explain that sometimes the elderly are only describing someone by their features and in their day it was not the same as now.
The attitudes of the different generations are evident when Violet talks about men liking Verity’s bust, but Verity announces that ‘Things are different now, women have control of their own bodies. ‘ This is very patronizing for anybody. If we were brought up to feel the need to please men, and for men to always be greater than women, then we would not want someone telling us what is right in their view, this is what Alan Bennett is trying to make us become conscious of. Women had to look after men, they were taught to do so then, and while men went off to war they were seen as heroes and the stronger sex.
Today, women have freedom and equal rights to men, but the character’s attitude clashes with the younger perspective as she feels she should not change her ways. The play was first performed on the 11th November, significant because of Remembrance Day, therefore showing Alan Bennett felt the need to involve the war and what went on. This is to demonstrate the way the character was brought up and her past life which sometimes we see Alan Bennett chooses for her to dwell on the times she regretted things. Loss and death are involved to a great extent.
The title has a double significant meaning- waiting for the telegram to be one hundred, and Violet knows death is creeping upon her. It is also significant, as in the war you waited for the telegram when a loved one had died as shown when she talks about Edward in the war ‘Then later on, they had a letter reckoning to be from the King, same as everybody did who’d lost somebody. ‘ Edward died from war and Violet never got to say goodbye, his death was undeserved. Francis was the same, he was special to Violet and she never got to say goodbye.
However, Francis was at war with what could possibly be A. I. D. S but Violet did not realise this, as she says ‘I thought they’d got pneumonia beat. ‘ Alan Bennett is trying to show us that death can be expected or very unexpected as in some character’s cases. He writes about how death can affect us all whatever age we are. In the ‘rest home’, the aged are treated with little respect, this is revealed in Violet’s reaction when she realises Francis was gay ‘She said, “It wasn’t lasses; it was lads. I said, I knew it was lads. She said, “Well I wish you’d told me. ” Right nasty. ‘ The writer is trying to show us that elderly should be treated with respect- through the way Violet receives the comment from Devon. We see she was hurt and that even the smallest comment can make anybody sensitive. What’s more, human freedom is taken away in the ‘rest home’, like they have to share clothes ‘”… And this frock isn’t mine. Tangerine doesn’t suit me. “‘
Violet’s daily routine consisted of sitting, sleeping and occasionally she had someone to talk to, she says ‘Pets is what they want in this place’ this is presenting that people do not actually want to talk to those living in the rest home, they just want something that is easy to look after. Violet’s lifestyle is shown in the performance by a realistic setting, it being just a small confined space with a bed and four walls. The character constantly had to rely on nurse help, when she just wanted to be independent.
Violet talks about the old man who flashed only doing it because ‘they get bored’ and says ‘Do you wonder? This displays Alan Bennett’s view on this kind of lifestyle, he can appreciate why people in a rest home do strange things and ‘migrate’. The importance of language is also what the monologue is showing; as Violet does not want to change the way she was taught to speak, even though everything has changed into modern ways. Mostly, Verity tries to change the way Violet speaks, as she is always saying ‘When we cannot find the word we want, we describe, we do not say ‘what-do-you-call-it. ‘
This is evident when Violet sees the man’s penis and Violet does not want to describe it or say ‘penis’ “Violet, I have to ask you this. Was the penis erect? ” I said “Nurse Bapty. That’s not a word I would use. ” She said “Erect? ” I said, “No, the other. ” She said, “Well, Violet. You’ve had what we call a stroke. You’re sometimes funny with words. ” I said, “I’m not funny with that word. “‘ Alan Bennett makes Violet want to speak in her way, not being constantly corrected, as he wants to show that people should not be corrected in what they say, as it is their way of putting across their point and the way in which they communicate.
This is what the monologue is about, language and the way in which it is communicated. Alan Bennett demonstrates this by making the character speak in a way in which it is possible for her to speak, in a way she wants to talk. The monologue works as a drama as you can see Violet’s characterisations come through in facial reactions, the use of humourous tone and also her hand gestures, like when she say’s ‘what-do-you-call-it’ she clenches her fists to show frustration.
Violet can get her views across in just being there alone and not being corrected like usual, but she can be who she wants to be. The writer chooses for it to be a monologue, as it is in intimate exchange between the character and her audience. Alan Bennett is famous for having a contrast between tragedy and comedy and we see this and how quickly it can change. As shown in ‘So when Francis was wiping my bottom later on I said, “Did I get married? ” He said, “Yes, can’t you remember? “… You get star treatment here, Violet. Even the Queen doesn’t get her bottom wiped.
Tragic because she cannot remember, but comical by what Francis comments on. The monologue could not successfully be done on radio, as we would not see her confined space or the costume, the tangerine dress; this shows the saddening reality that her freedom is taken away by both things. Sadness comes through in certain lines that just by listening we cannot see ‘”Rene, where’s this taxi taking you? ” She said, “Armley. ” I said, “Armley where? ” She said, “My mam and dad’s in 1947. ” We realise that Rene wants to leave, and by the end her taxi came and took her.
On television it can fade, this is dramatic and shows the days passing and death slowly creeping upon her. A face is one of the strongest emotional elements, it can show you anything and Violet’s face constantly has emotion upon it. Dramatic devices are used like piano music and fading to show the days are passing by and each day there seems to be another story to tell us. The monologue consisted of emotion and in my opinion worked well as a drama; we can see the emotion through facial expressions and actions.
Alan Bennett develops Violet as an elderly woman whose life comes across due to Violet individually speaking, nobody is made to correct her or interrupt her. We can see clearly what the monologue is about because the writer makes Violet realistic and paints an image. ‘Waiting for the Telegram’ is about an elderly woman’s world and how the character feels about death, love, regret and old age. Alan Bennett taught me through his writing that this generation do not respect the older generations as much as they should because they still hold exactly the same feelings as us.