Overall the language in Road is of a harsh nature. Nearly all the characters in the play tend to use a lot of swearwords making it a rather ‘shocking’ experience to watch. The type of language they use is actually realistic so it makes you feel as if you are really there. This makes the play more personal, because a lot of people may have been in the same situations, and used the same language. Sometimes the language is directed towards the audience. The character will actually turn around, look at them and talk directly to the audience. This immediately involves the audience and makes it their play – or life.
This is said in one of the first scenes. Scullery says ‘This is our Road, but tonight, it’s yours as well. ‘ Each character uses the type of language that suits their personalities. Here I’ve analysed a few characters use of language. The first character with quite a large monologue is Molly. The stage directions are ‘On the table is a box full of old make-up. She starts putting lipstick on her frail lips, looking in a little mirror. ‘ The sentence and Mollies first line suggests a surreal atmosphere by the fact that there is an old woman putting lipstick on.
Her first line is very dreamy and ‘not quite there. ‘ The actual words are a ‘Bit o’ red. Bit more o’ red. I’ll have some tea in between. ‘ The fact that an old lady is putting on bright red lipstick is perhaps showing her past. Maybe she was a prostitute. The language is dreamy and a bit insane. It’s maybe showing that Molly is trapped in some time warp. Back in the days’ when she was young and went out to the parties. Another sign of insanity is the fact that every so often she gets disrupted from what she’s doing. This is proved in the above line.
She also uses childish language. It’s quite strange to the ear to hear an old lady using such language as ‘Dreamy dreamy dream dreamy. Dreamy dolly day dream. ‘ She also says ‘Here’s me in me likkle house, havin’ some tea in between, in between dolling up for a drink, a drink, a drink. I’m stading by me sink. Here’s likkle me. ‘ She uses a lot of rhyming, this puts across the point that she is going mad and isn’t very down to earth. Another character, whose language is different, is Jerry. He is described as being a middle aged, softly spoken and threadbare man.
You wouldn’t expect a man in the 80’s of his age to be bold and standing up for what he believes in. His language shows another aspect – his deep inner feelings. He uses language that wouldn’t be expected from a middle aged man. The type of language he uses is extremely deep and meaningful. An example would include ‘Oh God, I get theses strong feelings inside and they’re so sad I can hardly stand it. Oh, oh I can feel one now, it’s breaking my heart with its strength and tears are coming into my eyes, and that’s just because I thought of something from ago. It’s a desperate language giving him a sensitive character. He thinks of something and he cries. Because the language is desperate it’s showing his need for help and his need for comfort. He’s expressing his feelings and letting them all out through his language and he’s sharing it with the audience, which makes us all feel some sort of deep emotion. Helen’s speech is more about her being something she’s not; to get something she desperately wants, in this case – sex. Her language is that of a male who’s trying to take advantage of a vulnerable woman – perhaps drunk.
But this is a female taking advantage of the male who is drunk. Examples are when he spills food down him self, she takes advantage of this and uses it as a starting point for taking off his clothes. She uses false and nervous language on the stage which makes me think that she knows it’s wrong, but wants to love and be loved. So is doing anything she can to seduce him. She is supposed to be a middle aged woman but the language she uses is that of a young prostitute who’s new to the job. ‘Oh you are naughty. And so young as well. So young and full of it.
I bet you’ve had loads of girls already ‘ant you eh? (She kisses him again). Why should you choose me eh? (She gets his cheeks in her hands) Eh? Why? What have I got? (She puts her tongue in her ear)Oh you sexy buggar. ‘ She never gives him time to answer her questions so that she doesn’t have to hear the reply. The monologue is showing her need for love, and her desperation for sex, which is quite pathetic. Cartwright has written the language as if she’s a nervous giggly teenager, in the company of a huge crush, when all she’s doing is looking for company.
At the end there are four long monologues for each drunken person. The first monologue is Eddie. His language is extremely un-realistic and he comes out with onomatopoeias such as ‘Bzzzzzzzzzzz’ and Raaaaaaaaaaaa. ‘ These are quite effective because you don’t expect him to come out with such imaginary sounds. All through the play the characters have been withdrawn when it comes to their deep feelings and then al of a sudden the play is turned into a surreal environment with loud words that don’t make sense and don’t string together.
It is all imagery and rhythm. The next monologue is Brinks. The language he uses is full of emotion. He uses sentences – ‘I must stop now because I’m crying real tears, but inside. A man cry. ‘ The language makes you think about the fact that even men who think they’re better than every one else, have real feelings. The last two are girls – Carol and Louise. Carol uses alliteration such as ‘BIG BUST. BIG BUST ON ME BODY. BIG BRA BURSTIN BUST. ‘ It is an effective way of putting across a message because it is repetition and it gets stuck in your mind.
Louise’s monologue is more about her being able to express her self freely as she cannot often do this because everyone assumes she is the quiet shy one that doesn’t speak. She always immediately takes this role. All the way through the play, language has been tense and quite realistic, the characters have withheld their true feelings, but at the end everyone lets out their thoughts and don’t care what people think. They just say them and get them off their chest.