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Shirley's Changes In The Course Of Shirley Valentine By Willy Russell

3253 words - 13 pages

Shirley's Changes in the Course of Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell

"Shirley Valentine" was primarily written as a monologue to express
the emotions of a bored middle-aged housewife. The monologue was
originally performed by the actress Pauline Collins. The monologue was
adapted by Willy Russell and converted into a screenplay. Willy
Russell kept most of the original devices such as the voiceovers and
the flashbacks to narrate the story. Furthermore he added other
character to the screenplay. Willy Russell was born in Liverpool in
1974 and left school at the age of fifteen. The play had some
resemblance on Russell's childhood and the surroundings he was brought
up in. "Shirley Valentine" is the journey of a tedious middle-aged
housewife who try's to break away from her inescapable routine,
lifeless marriage. She is trying to find her true self. She is
searching for 'Shirley Valentine'. The purpose of this essay is to
analyse the changes that Shirley goes through in the course of the
play and how Willy Russell illustrates the importance of these

Willy Russell perceptively uses cinematic device to help the audience
understand what Shirley is going through and to help us as the
audience and reader to sympathise with her. Using techniques such as
flashbacks and conversing to the audience makes us feel as though she
is directly talking to us as a friend and we are going through the
emotions, which Shirley is undergoing. Before the film begins we are
shown illustrations of Shirley carrying out domestic chores
immediately revealing to us the situation Shirley is in and that she
is a housewife. The soundtrack is a way in which to inform us of what
the theme of the screenplay is. The soundtrack is about fulfilling
dreams and also introduces the issues of regret and ambitions. This
implies that the screenplay is about someone chasing dreams and
escaping the stereotypical life they entrapped in. This helps the
audience know what to expect from Shirley and gives an insight into
her character.

The film commences with Shirley arriving home with the shopping into a
small terraced house. She walks into the kitchen and begins to talk to
the wall. This immediately suggests that Shirley seems trapped and
lonely. We are lead to believe this because she has no one to talk to
and share her feelings with, other than a wall. Also she must not get
out of the house a lot and socialise because she doesn't seem to have
any close friends. If she did then she wouldn't have to talk to the
wall. Immediately she talks to us in a camera shot. This is makes us
feel involved and seems like she is inviting us into her life. She
also talks in informal language and uses colloquial language
indicating to us her status and that she is a working class women.
This also makes the audience feel more...

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