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A memory of Lizzie/Blue Remembered Hills Comparitive Essay

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GCSE Drama Comparison Essay 'Blue Remembered Hills' was originally written for television in 1979 before the writer, Dennis Potter, created a stage version in 1984. Potter based the storyline on his nostalgic views on childhood and the transition from infancy to adulthood. The play is set in the West Country during World War Two, where seven children have been evacuated. The audience gains an insight into a child's life in the 1940s and how the individual and very different characters interact with each other. The play ends tragically with the death of Donald, a child abused by his mother and tormented by the other children. 'A Memory of Lizzie' is based on the famous trial in American history where Lizzie Borden was accused of killing her stepmother and father on the 4th of August, 1892. One of the main factors of the play that makes it so original is that it was written to portray Lizzie Borden's potential character and how she interacted with other people as a child. By creating a younger version of the murderess, the audience can see how this cruel and very much neglected child came to commit such horrific murders. The play is set in an American school playground in the 1870s and focuses on how the children react to Lizzie and vice versa. ...read more.


They also use the concept of war as a basis of their entertainment, particularly when the klaxon sounds and instead of returning home, they decide to hide in case the "prisoner of war" they created in their imaginations comes looking for "English blood" The children also take on the mannerisms of their parents, particularly when they are playing house in the Barn and Angela is imitating her mother. On the other hand, Lizzie Borden appears to be of a higher class than the other children because of her family's wealth, 'Just 'cos she's a Borden - thinks she owns the whole place.' Lizzie uses her wealth as a way of gaining power and often trys to control the other children. The other characters feel particularly degraded and insulted by this, "Just like we was your servants or something" The two plays also focus on two very different societies. 'A Memory of Lizzie' takes place in Puritan America - a time where religion and morals were of strict importance to the people of the country. However, Lizzie does not fit in with the majority of children as her father worked in a morgue. At this time in history people feared death and spent their lives avoiding wrong doings as so to have an afterlife in 'heaven' rather than 'hell'. ...read more.


. One clear difference in the two plays is the performance style; 'Blue Remembered Hills' is realism as it is set in the present and all events are of chronological order e.g. no flash forwards or flash backs. On the other hand, 'A Memory of Lizzie' is far more abstract and on occasions there are subtle hints of symbolism and there are frequent flash forwards to the trial for the murder of her parents. The most significant symbolism used is at the ending of the play where Lizzie is seen in a more corrupted and detrimental way - not innocent as most children are perceived. This is symbolic of the person she shall come to be as an adult. Both plays are very tragic yet 'Blue Remembered Hills' also is quite comical in the way that the adult actors depict and illustrate the mannerisms, speech and dialogue of a child. The way the characters react to Rachel gives the audience a feel of sympathy for the vulnerable and powerless girl; and it is almost uplifting when the children face their fear of Lizzie and stand up to her. Yet the predominant theme of death is very saddening, particularly that it is the killing of a child and the mutilation of a daughter's own parents. ...read more.

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