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Our Day Out as a Genre of Social Realism.

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Introduction

Our Day Out as a Genre of Social Realism It has often been said that Our Day out belongs to the Genre of Social Realism. Willy Russell uses situations that are to life and that seem realistic to write this play. The play Our Day Out is about how an inner city school in Liverpool takes their remedial students on a trip. The teachers have not planned their day out and when the disciplinarian of the school joins them, this creates a recipe for disaster. However, the play is not written as a story about the school trip, it uses the social situations and humour involved in the children's activities on the trip to exploit some of the more serious issue that existed at the time. The issues explored in the play are the social deprivation and the harsh reality of the children's lives. Willy Russell's play, Our Day Out based on the real life experiences which he had whilst he was a teacher at a comprehensive school in Liverpool. Russell uses the situations he found himself in whilst on a school trip to create this exciting play. ...read more.

Middle

H thinks that school trips should be organised and "planned", and that the kids should be able to learn something. Personally I am unsure whether either of these characters have the correct view. On the one hand, Mrs Kay is correct in letting the kids enjoy themselves, however her slightly stereotyped view that they will always be "factory fodder" makes me doubt how good a teacher she is. On the other hand, Mr Briggs feels that the kids should be educated at all costs, but he feels that they should avoid the fun generated when on a school trip. As soon as it starts, he lays down the supposed ground rules, and throughout, tries to educate the kids, at the zoo and at Conway Castle. There are two extreme teaching philosophies here and I think that a mixture of both would suffice in teacher today. Even today, when kids go on a school trip, they do get excited and do not really expect to learn any thing, so I think that Mrs Kay has the right attitude with a trip. However the idea that anyone is destined to "fail" is not the kind of philosophy I would like for any of my teachers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Children become attached to things and then want to take them home, even if they know that they do not belong to them. The use of humour shows the innocence or simple-mindedness of the kids because they think they "only borrowed them." Another element of the play, which develops, is the relationship between the kids and the teachers. It is evident from the play that the children have a very social relationship with their teachers. The hugging and cuddling, linking of arms by Mrs Kay and even the flirting by Reilly and Linda towards Susan and Colin respectively. All these would not even have been thought about in the schools nowadays. This shows the differences in societies attitude as far as teacher-student relationships are concerned. Therefore making this element of the play seem rather farfetched. I think Russell has managed to create a very realistic play, which tackles many complex issues involving social realism and the deprivation of children in certain societies. He manages to do this without making the play boring and stays true to the intentions of the play. He brings together realistic and probable situations based on the real life experiences he had whilst in his teaching career, and combines them with his humorous nature to create a believable, archetypal play. Garth Chamberlain 1 ...read more.

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