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Are the characters and their situations in 'Our Day Out' true to life and does Willy Russell want us to sympathise with them?

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Introduction

Are the characters and their situations in 'Our Day Out' true to life and does Willy Russell want us to sympathise with them? 'Our Day Out' is set in the late seventies in Liverpool. It is about a 'progress' class that is taken to Wales for the day and visit the zoo, Conwy Castle and the beach. Four teachers and the driver take them to Wales. First, Mrs Kay in her early forties is head of the 'progress' class and acted more of a mother figure than a teacher. Mr Briggs in his early thirties and deputy head teacher. Also two support teachers Susan and Colin who are in their early twenties and Ronny who is 'a right head case' according to Mr Briggs. Set in the late seventies in the inner city of Liverpool and the seventies saw the decline of the coalmines and factory work. It was a change in industry and a recession. I will be focusing on Mr Briggs, Mrs Kay and Carol who are the three main characters of the play. Firstly, Mr Briggs for the times that the play was set Mr Briggs a realistic, run of the mill teacher pouncing on any chance he got to have a go at anyone who slipped up. ...read more.

Middle

Can you?" I think that he feels that Mrs Kay is not teaching the kids anything and that she is not helping them in later life. I think that Russell makes us not like Briggs because he doesn't particularly like the children and that he is some kind of bully towards the kids. I think that our view on Briggs changes because he starts talking to Carol about her future. "Carol ... you're talking as if you've given up on life already. You sound as though life for you is just ending, instead of beginning." He also takes the kids to the fairground which he insisted to Mrs Kay is what they should do to finish off the trip. But, by the end of the play, he is back to his usual self; shirt, tie and scrunching up the photographs so no one could see what he was like on the trip. Mrs Kay feels very strongly about the kids on the trip because she wants to ensure that everyone on the trip should have a good time everywhere they go. ...read more.

Conclusion

We do feel hopeful for her at the end because she hopefully will do well at school and that she can move of Liverpool when she is older. In conclusion Mrs Kay does not believe in traditional teaching methods of discipline and high standards, she is lost to understand the unfairness of a society which puts these children to the back of the queue. She wants the children to least have a good day out, even if they are not going to resolve the struggle of the unequal chance and social injustice. For many of the children she has perhaps taken on a motherly role, she hold there hands, put her arm round them and cuddles them, which they may not get at home, she possibly feels they need more love and care then education. She also stands by what she believes in and defends her pupils against difficult attitudes based on discrimination. However Mr Briggs is completely the opposite to Mrs Kay, he is strict and intolerant to bad behaviour, he believes in the "old school" way of teaching with systematic views of discipline, standards and uniform, whatever the ability or background of the pupils in the progress class. Danny Arnett 11C ...read more.

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