Reasons behind features in Bloody Memory Lane
For this monologue I have tried to provide mixed messages about Steven. He appears as an ordinary guy but there are some child-like features in his behaviour, such as laughing ‘playfully’ and he comments on how he is friends with Jamie and he enjoyed playing ‘Footy’ with him. There are also slight contradictions in his attire and speech which reflects the indecisive thinking he possesses. For example, He is dressed in a smart suit, yet his hair is ‘slightly matted’. His accent changes from aristocratic to a little boy’s depending on the subject he is talking about. Throughout the monologue, there are small hints that Steven is unstable and unsure of himself. This, in turn, will be a decision for the audience to make as, until the finally sentence ‘It’s me.’, there is no hard evidence of the crimes Steven has committed. In this way, the audience will be just as unsure as Steven himself.
The register I have chosen for Steven is a mixture of average and overly informal speech which again reflects his mixed mind and personality. Stevens tone changes according to his register; when speaking formally his speech is serious yet when he switches to informal his speech is rather playful mirroring a little boy. Steven’s tone and register changes throughout the monologue to emphasise his unbalanced state of mind. When reading the text from the poster, Steven’s accent changes to a very formal posh voice. This could be due to his mind still being set to a child’s way of thinking and he is making fun of the poster.
Right the way through the monologue my Syntax strategy is to use short sentences. These short sentences have been structured in certain ways depending on their position in the monologue. To begin with, the short sentences were separated by pauses. These pauses signify the times when Steven considers what he going to say next, or what he has just said. This shows great care into his speech, showing he wants to describe people - such as Joanne - appropriately without any mistakes. Towards the end of the monologue his speech picks up pace and loses its aspect of care which is similar to a little boy’s speech pattern
For Lexis, I have used a large number of modifiers to describe Steven’s behaviour and occasionally present in his speech. Steven has been described as smiling ‘serenely’. Even though the connotations of this word suggest peace and tranquillity, in actual fact the word provides an eerie feel to Steven’s behaviour which initially plants the idea that Steven is unstable in the audience’s mind. This idea is then confirmed when Steven ‘Gently’ strokes his cheek with the jumper and he laughs ‘Playfully’ when he tries on Jamie’s hat. However, not all modifiers within the monologue suggest Steven’s insanity; he speaks ‘briskly’ when startled by the car door slamming. This is a usually humanistic way to react when caught by surprise and feeling uncomfortable. Steven also describes Joanne’s face as shining ‘Powerfully’ when she smiles. This is ironic because Joanne had no power over Steven when she was killed.
Few literary devices have been used during the monologue as the focus has been on how Steven speaks rather than what he says. Nevertheless, some imagery and alliteration has been used. Joanne’s cashmere jumper has been described as ‘Blood Red’. This is symbolic of the blood Steven has on his hands due to the murders he has carried out. As the ‘blood’ description appears early in the Monologue it is also a sense of foreshadowing of what mystery surrounds Steven. However, in a performance, the audience won’t be told the jumper is ‘blood’ red, they will just see the colour red and derive for themselves what they should compare it to, which isn’t necessarily blood. Steven uses two pieces of alliteration. I have done this as Steven struggles to think of the first alliteration as individuals generally search for multiple words beginning with the same letter in order to rightly describe an object/person of personal importance to them
Finally, stage directions play a big part in this monologue as Steven’s body language presents the audience with the most clues regarding his lunacy. The stage opening shows Steven in a dim spotlight which shows him only. This symbolises the mystery surrounding him. The rug he sits on has rich connotations as the colours are red and gold which are generally accepted as ‘Rich’ colours. There is also a contrast in Steven’s appearance; he has a smart black suit but matted hair. All these effects symbolise mystery and diverse features of Steven. He is described as doing childish things such as putting the hat on even though it is too small and then finding it funny. This behaviour is parallel to that of a young boy who finds everything a joke.