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"A Kestrel for a Knave" and "Our Day Out" both raise the issue of social stereotyping. With close reference to the texts explore to what ends and effects this issues is raised.

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Introduction

"A Kestrel for a Knave" and "Our Day Out" both raise the issue of social stereotyping. With close reference to the texts explore to what ends and effects this issues is raised. To socially stereotype someone you discriminate them based on things like their background, their financial status or the area they live in. Both stories; "A Kestrel for a Knave" and "Our Day Out" raise the issue of social stereotyping and both are set against a poverty stricken, working class background. "Our Day Out" is set in a poor, run down area of Liverpool in a working class community. The children all attend a secondary modern school in the 70's. They have no prospects and are all expected to be "factory fodder". "A Kestrel for a Knave" is set in a working class mining community near Barnsley. As with "Our Day Out" the children who attend the school are seen as hopeless, but instead of the children being fodder for factories the majority end up working in the local mines. Billy's estate is overlooked by a middle class area called Firs Hill. Hines uses Firs Hill to represent a contrasting world to Valley Estate. Billy's home. Barry Hines doesn't portray Billy as a stereotype; he is a very realised character. Billy is however a product of his own social background, for example, he steals chocolate from Mr Porter's shop, eggs and orange juice from the milkman, and he commits acts of vandalism by throwing eggs at his own house. ...read more.

Middle

He pushes Billy to the edge and because he hasn't been shown any other way to react to things like this, he resorts to violence causing the teachers to discriminate him. Another person to discriminate him is the librarian. She serves other people behind him in the queue and when she finally serves him she insults him calling him "filthy". Whilst Mr Porter the shopkeeper tells Billy off for being late for his paper round he says to him "there's a waiting list a mile long for your job, you know. Grand lads an' all, some of em. Lads from up Firs Hill and round there." This is Mr Porter discriminating Billy and he is stupid enough to say that the boys will be more "reliable" just because they are from Firs Hill. Ironically everyone who stereotypes Billy is a stereotype; Billy's mother comes across as a jaded, shrewish hussy because she has lots of boyfriends which she calls "uncles" in front of Billy. Her reputation is well know throughout the estate. Another stereotype is Mr Sugden, an almost caricature character. Mr Sugden is Billy's PE teacher who thinks he is a football God, while in truth he is rubbish at football and is just a sad old man holding on to childish dreams. Through this character we find light comic relief in the book despite his treatment of Billy. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes a quiet funny scene totally ridiculous. While the stereotypes are used by Willy Russell to amuse us he does make some serious points about the children and their lives. Like the "Carol on the Cliff" scene. This scene is the key top enabling us to see beneath the surface of the characters. Russell makes us pity Carol because she isn't very clever and only wants the simple things in life like "one of them nice white houses an' do the garden an' that". He even makes us pity tough-guy Reilly in scene 40 when he says "It's friggin' horrible when y' come back to it, isn't it?" Telling us that even Reilly has an inner vulnerability. This is Russell using pathos; pathos is when you make people feel sympathy for a character. Both texts raise the issue of social stereotyping for humours effects and to make serious points. The difference lies in the emphasis, "Our Day Out" concentrates mainly on stereotyping for humorous effects whereas "A Kestrel For A Knave" uses it to get across serious issues like the damaging, negative effects stereotyping has on peoples lives and how discriminating against the poor keeps them poor because they don't get treated with respect so no one can be bothered to teach them the skills they need to start a better life. Richard Ellis ...read more.

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