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Discussing an extract 'Carries War,' by Nina Bowden.

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Introduction

Source G is an extract from a novel about evacuees. It is from 'Carries War,' a novel for children written by Nina Bowden in 1973. This extract from a novel is classed as a secondary source, as it was not written during the war. In the source, the host who has agreed to look after 2 evacuated children asks them to change into their slippers. Carrie answers that they haven't got any. The woman assumes that they are to poor to have any, but in fact, the reason that they do not have any is because they were unable to fit them in to their cases as only bare essentials were packed. The novel states that there was not a speck of dust anywhere, and so it suggests that the children were not used to such spotless surroundings. The hosts will have seemed more particular to cleanliness to the children and this may have seemed peculiar to them. In the war, evacuees were not used to rural life and there were poor children moving to wealthier homes. There was a clash between city and country values and people outside the cities, in the countryside learnt how bad the conditions were which encouraged them to evacuate children. ...read more.

Middle

We do not have the point of view from the family, and the story is only based on a typical child's evacuation journey, and so does not represent all experiences. But it was written over 30 years after the event. Therefore I feel that some of the information could be incorrect unless Nina Bowden was a child in evacuation and has written this as a sort of biography. If this is not the case, she has researched a lot into how the evacuated children were treated as sources E and F both give a good account and show that the book Carrie's War did have several truths in it, is typical of some incidents and is therefore reliable. It is quite accurate about brother and sister being placed together rather than separated in the evacuation. Class and status misunderstanding and stereotyping idea is also conceivable as it was quite typical. In general, most of the foster parents who lived in the countryside did believe that the "city kids" were poor. For example in source E was an interview with the mother of a host family. ...read more.

Conclusion

So the highlighted part of the novel does seem to be correct and reliable in the fact that host families in the country thought of the city children as poor, unclean and ill-educated. The host families thought of themselves of better than the evacuee's family. The fact that they both had stereotypical ideas about each other. The city families believed that the country folk were arrogant as not everyone living it towns were poor and "raised on a diet of fish and chips eaten from a newspaper." This brought conflict between the two and made some host families reject the chance of having a evacuee and some parents such as the one in source I, didn't want to let his children go away. Although this is a novel and we shouldn't believe that the contents is fact, we can learn from it, such as what the way of life might have been like, as a novel usually paints a picture. However it only becomes useful to us when other evidence can support it, as we must remember that it is still only fiction and because of this we don't know that it is actually true. ...read more.

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