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Our Day Out

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The major themes in 'Our Day Out' are the lack of education, lack of opportunity and deprivation in the inner city. Show how the writer makes the audience aware of these ideas. Section1 'Our Day Out' is a play that was written by the multitalented playwright, Willy Russell. It is written about a class of children from a school in Liverpool and is set in the late 1970s. They are known as the 'progress class' and are children in need of extra learning help because of their unachievement. The play is written about their school trip to Conway in Wales. Section 2 Willy Russell successfully conveys his ideas of the deprivation and lack of education and opportunity in the children of Liverpool through the characters in the play. He shows many of these ideas through Carol, a main character with a very important role in getting across these ideas. We can clearly see much of Carol's lack of education from not only the fact that she is in the progress class, but also from the way that she speaks. She uses a lot of slang and misses off letters when she is speaking to her fellow students and even her teachers. A good example of this is when she says 'if ya backward like'. It shows that her parents and teachers have not taught her how to speak correctly and she therefore doesn't know any better. She is also acknowledging that she isn't particularly intelligent in an academic sense by saying this, showing that she doesn't have much self confidence. ...read more.


She even implies this to Mr. Briggs, when he arrives at the coach she says "Well I think we'll be safe now you've come to look after us." This means it appears as if she considers herself to be one of the children, rather than their teacher and supervisor, the words 'we'll' and 'us' being key words in showing this. She is playful and friendly towards the children. She jokes about with them, even chasing one of the children and 'glaring in mock seriousness' as if she doesn't quite take herself or her authoritative position seriously. At one point, in the film, we can compare Mrs. Kay and Carol to mother and daughter, as she spends the majority of her time with Mrs. Kay and can be seen sleeping on the coach, cuddling Mrs. Kay in a typical loving mother and daughter way. Her teaching style is calm and informal, whereas Mr. Briggs' teaching style is much more strict and formal. It often appears as if he sees the children as worthless and a waste of space. This is probably because he is used to working with a more intellectual set of teachers and to some extent, the students. Eventually, their opposing views become an argument. Briggs storms up to Mrs. Kay during mid-conversation between herself, Carol and Andrews. He rudely dismisses the children, who were previously having a civilised adult conversation. He states his views on her teaching style and tells her that he thinks that the way that she is handling the trip is wrong and that he thinks that she should do something about it. ...read more.


Briggs saves her just in time and hugs her, which is out of character for him, and so we can see that there may be a change from then on. Ending Briggs becomes more fun towards the end of the play and begins to change. He begins this be saying 'Anyway, you can't come all the way to the sea-side and not pay a visit to the fair' In the film, we see the fun that they are having and the pictures that are taken at the fair and getting back on the coach. This seems like a change for the better and we are led to believe that he has changed until right at the end of the play when Briggs says that he will develop some photos of the trip. These include photos of him having fun and letting go a bit at the fair and on the coach, but Briggs doesn't feel that he can let these photos be seen by the entire school, or remembered by the other students because he doesn't with to lose any of his authority. He exposes the film to the light and then crumples it up and puts it back into his pocket, destroying all evidence of him having fun. At the very end of the play, we see Briggs driving past Carol, as he always does, as if nothing has changed now that they're back in Liverpool. The only thing that is different is that Carol is carrying home her goldfish, which Mr. Briggs won at the fair. This is a privilege for Carol and a reminder of the fun that they had on their day out. ...read more.

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