- Mr. Slade’s speech from “Scent of a Woman”
- From outsider to insider
This monologue is the famous speech of Mr. Slade, Al Pacino, in the drama film Scent of a Woman.
The film is produced and directed by Martin Brest, and tells essentially the story about a blind man, Al Pacino, and a poor college student, Charlie Simms. (Wikipedia, 2019)
Mr. Slade’s well-spoken speech is frequently accompanied by profanity, repetitions, possessives and questioning.
My analysis will focus on how Mr. Slade’s uses these language features to engage his audience, as well as convincing the recipient – Mr. Trask.
a) It was a normal day for Wendy and the children. On their way home from school, they were offered a lift by Pippa. After a while, they started chatting about the children’s schools.
“Is it nice being back at school?” Wendy was asking Tara. Pippa, Tara’s mum answered awkwardly, “Oh, Tara is no longer attending Fletcher Montacute.
We have moved her to a private school.” Wendy was shocked and was thinking for herself, “what a traitor”.
Pippa started complaining about how Fletcher was not good for Tara. The school was enormous, the English were bad, and the cultural mix at the new private school was great.
b) Pippa is subdued embarrassed about sending her daughter to a private school. The nervous complaining and the stammering voice emphasize this.
For example, in picture number 7 when she says, “No, no, no, no! Not her accent! … although they did all have rather ghastly voices… No, I mean her basic use of her native language.”