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Our Day Out

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Our Day Out By Willy Russell Looking particularly at scenes 21 and 31, explain the serious message that Willy Russell tries to give us about the education and social deprivation. How does he use key characters and settings in order to do this? "Our Day Out" is a funny play but it also has some serious points. It tells us the story of a group of students who are taken on a day trip to Conwy castle in Wales. This play was written in 1977 by Willy Russell. It was set outside a school in Liverpool. With a group of students going on a school trip to Conwy castle in Wales. Mrs Kay was in charge of this trip, she is easy -going and motherly person. The headmaster then sends Mr Briggs along with them who is a much stricter teacher. They set of to Conwy castle and on they way end up going to other places as well. The caf´┐Ż, zoo, Conwy castle and the beach. Throughout the day Mr Briggs continues to battle between himself and Mrs Kay over the behaviour of the students. They finish of the trip by going to the funfair where Mr Briggs mood changes and everyone is surprised. Mrs Kay took pictures of this day, she wasn't going to let Mr Briggs forget the day he was happy. Education in the 1970's was different from now. In 1970 students were able to leave school at the age of fifteen and find a job. Students would do there 11+ exam to go onto secondary school. There was a class for students who couldn't read, write or do sums. This class was called Progress class. There was only a little hope that students would get a successful future. Grammar school was for clever student, but it was too expensive and parents wouldn't have the money to send their children there. Children would only have about two pound pocket money. Some jobs were at the docks or car industries. ...read more.


"Well that's a fine attitude isn't". Another incident is when Mr Briggs talk with the headmaster about Mrs Kay that she doesn't really seem like a teacher. "She always reminds me of a mother hen rather than a teacher" he thinks this because she always on the children side and treats them like her children. In scene 31 Mr Briggs is pointing at a spot high up the castle while the children stand behind him and watch. In another part of the castle the kids are rushing about playing medieval cowboys and Indians. Carol and Andrews are with Mrs Kay looking over the estuary. Then Mr Briggs come and has a big argument with Mrs Kay about the children. From this scene we know that the children haven't ever see or been to a place like this. It seems like a dream to them. They run around screaming and shouting in the castle grounds "Can't y' see what's goin on? It's a shambles, just look at them". Mr Briggs knows a lot about castle he tries to teach the children. He doesn't want the children too mess around, but it doesn't go to plan. The children go out of control. "Either you take control of the children in your charge or I'll be forced to abandon this visit". Mr Briggs wants the children to get a good education. Mr Kay hasn't got much ideas about education she just wants the children to have a good time and enjoy them self. She doesn't really care if the children learn or not she knows that the children haven't got much of a chance of achieving anything and getting a successful life. Even if they do get educated there's no employment for them as factories are closing down. "There's nothing for them to do, any of them". Stage direction helps us understand character. Mr Briggs- approaches, obviously angry this shows us that he's angry when he goes up to Mrs Kay showing he is cruel and unkind. ...read more.


"You go I'm not comin" this tells us she's living a horrible life and can't stand going back to it. Comparing the two place, where she's come from its dull, boring and she lives in a terraced house which hasn't even got windows and seeing Whales where there's a beautiful view off the sea and nice houses makes her want to stay. From all these examples of characters and setting I have tried to show Willy Russell was trying to tell us about education and social deprivation. I feel that the children have a terrible background. There poor, heart less, dirty and lifeless. They live in a poor area. The houses they live in are terraced house which are in poor conditions. As these children have come from a poor background they don't have much of a future ahead of them. Mr Kay understands the children the best. She knows what the children are going through and how difficult it is for them. She feels that they should enjoy there life's and make the best out of them as that's all they can achieve. As they haven't got much chance of getting employment. I prefer education now rather than the 1970's because everyone is taught the same things meaning nobody misses out and everyone is treated equally and everybody gets the same education. Now we can continue on with further education like college and university to get a better a job. In 1970's children had a special class for students that couldn't read or write this was called 'Progress class' they would be separate from everyone else and learn how to read and write, when they learnt how too read and write they would go back too normal classes. At the age of fifteen they would leave school. There wouldn't been much chance of them getting a job. The disadvantage of education now is that children learn at different levels and with them all together some of them may mess around and not let others learn. Having a separate class for students who needed help was a good thing. ...read more.

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