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In P’tang,Yang, Kippebang Jack Rosenthal about the often painful experience of growing up - What main themes and ideas does Rosenthal address?

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In P'tang, Yang, Kippebang Jack Rosenthal about the often painful experience of growing up. What main themes and ideas does Rosenthal address? P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang is set in 1948, straight World War two. Jack Rosenthal deals with a boy who comes to a painful realisation of the world he is growing up in. Alan gradually loses his naivety and he becomes aware of the true nature of the characters who surround him. Many adults in the play are hypocritical. A straight forward example of hypocrisy is Miss Land and the relationship between her and the children who experience the rites of passage. Jack Rosenthal draws attention to Miss Land's hypocrisy by describing in her very first stage direction that she is "Purportedly reading". From the moment Miss Land is introduced she gives the appearance of being something she is not. She is an English teacher in her early thirties and she is a spinster but she is less prudish than she seems, i.e. her relationship with Tommy. Rosenthal draws attention from his first presentation of Miss Land to the hypocritical aspect of her character: Miss Land accuses Alan and the children of being "beasts of the field" when she catches them "pressing against" Eunice after class. But Miss Land is not as innocent as she seems to be. She spends a lot of time with Tommy in the pavilion having sex. ...read more.


He has lost his sense of wonder. When the Headmaster meets Miss Land in his study he hands her the play "The Tables Turned". Tables turned means that the table has turned upside down, the roles have been reversed on the adult world. The children have swapped places with the adults and behave more openly and much more thoughtfully. In the end the tables are also turned on Alan who loses his na�ve optimism of the world. When the headmaster is supposed to be watching the school play he falls asleep and starts clapping at the wrong bit when he wakes up which shows he does not really care about his pupils. As Rosenthal's play develops new adult characters who are unfamiliar to us are introduced. At this point in Alan's life he has many role models and all of them are shown to be phonies. Tommy is a prime example of a fake because he was pretending to be a war hero which he never was or as the Headmaster cynically comments: "The dichotomy of Appearance and Reality". Jack Rosenthal shows Alan in isolation with nobody to help him. The spider Alan treads on and which releases all its young represents what Alan himself will have to experience, leaving home and becoming independent of his parents. His parents never appear on stage suggesting that Alan the will deal with his problems on his own without their support. ...read more.


The cricket commentary acts as a kind of soliloquy which represents how externalised commentary effects can be used to represent internalised experience. In this way the playwright humorously dramatises the difficulties of, figuratively speaking, "building an innings". By scoring runs for England he goes through a Test match and to achieve a victory he has to experience failure, pain and hardship. By the end of the play Alan has learned that life is not so clear-cut and black and white as once he believed. His relationship with God amusingly expressed in the bed room, denotes his naivety. "Please God let it be today. Somehow let it come true today". He assumes that good will deliver Ann to his hand. By the end of the play Alan loses his naivety and gains knowledge about the adult world and real life. He is no longer able to dream. "Real men don't mess about dreaming." He also does not wish to say P'tang Yang, Kipperbang when Ann asks him to. This means that he has grown up and became much more serious especially in his feelings towards people of opposite sex. "Would you like to say P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang?", "He smiles and shakes his head". Alan is now using different gestures which is what adult do because the can understand each other without words sometimes. Alan also greets the workman in adult fashion. "He nods to them curtly- the greeting of a men among men". Alan feels liberated by the knowledge he gains and he inherits wisdom only through suffering. Nick Ocheretin. ...read more.

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