The Outside Dog by Alan Bennett

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In ‘The Outside Dog’ Alan Bennett fastidiously explores some of the obscure predicaments that marriages face. In all of Bennett’s monologues he eloquently uncovers many of the glitches and hegemonic stereotypes that society has to deal with. In ‘The Outside Dog’ Bennett discloses many themes within marriage including how far will a partner go in order to protect their loved one ?, and the question of ‘Love or infatuation’, are they still together due to their long and happy years so far or is it more to do with the intimacy and the feeling of being looked after, fed and having your laundry done for you. Marjory is a previous school teacher who has submitted to becoming a normal housewife where she is looking after her Husband and their pet dog Tina much to her dismay, though she has taught children she does not have any of her own. This is something that is common in Bennetts entire monologue, the absence of a young child. In the monologue it is revealed that her husband is a murderer and she is left to cover his track but not at her own expense due to her loyalty to ‘cleaning’. Many would consider this monologue as poignant or flabbergasting but Bennett demonstrates these issues through his meticulous use of writing techniques such as dramatic irony and satire. The title ‘The Outside Dog’ primarily gives the audience the impression of a pet that isn’t allowed inside the house and is then described as ‘The Outside Dog’, but Bennett utilizes this metaphor to connote Marjory’s marginalisation by her Husband due to his relationship with their dog Tina. Furthermore Bennett’s choice of name given to the dog gives it a human like role in the monologue, when we first hear ‘Tina’ imagery of her being the other woman is what is emitted into our minds which is exactly what Bennett’s wise choice of naming is used for. Yet another obstacle that many marriages face is the common breakdown of communication between couples which eventually leads to one partner being ostracised...
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