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GCSE: Our Day Out
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A major theme in Our Day Out is the lack of education and opportunity for young people in the inner-city. Using scenes from the play, show how Willy Russell makes the audience aware of this theme.
The children are just ignoring the fact that the lollipop man is there to help them. Throughout the book Willy Russell introduces humour for the enjoyment of the reader, for example, "only when the car is within striking distance does he walk out with his 'stop' sign". At the same time Russell will still be making a very important point to us. In the play the children speak mainly the Liverpuddlian dialect, "I know y' didn't. Y' never do. None of y'". This makes it more realistic and we are in no doubt where the play is set.
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Many of the characters in the play have strong personalities. Some of them being children, which are from the progress class. There are some adults in the play which are teachers, others are people they met on their day out for example, shop keepers, buss driver, zoo keeper... Our 1st impression of Mrs. Kay comes from scene 2 just before the children get on the coach. Mrs. Kay appears to be organized. "I'll get you all sorted out." Russell shows us that she is polite and pleasant: "Alright alright. Will you just let me have minute's peace."
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The main themes in Our Day Out are lack of education, lack of opportunity and social deprivation. Show how the writer makes us aware of these themes
This portrayal of Carol is important as it shows the signs of social deprivation and establishes her economic status. She describes Conwy as "somewhere far away, I forget" (in response to Les the lollipop man's question as to where the trip's destination is). This also tells us she hasn't been far from home before since if she'd been to Conwy before she'd would know it is only about an hour away from Liverpool. We feel a little sorry for Carol and feel guilty about her having to live like that while our homes are often full of materialistic goods and appliances that we take for granted.
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The audience can see straight away that the children feel intimidated by Mr Briggs. When the boys "rush to the safety of Mrs Kay's group" it seems as if Mr Briggs poses some sort of threat to the children. This contrasts with Mrs Kay, who the children feel safe with. This is because Mrs Kay cherishes them, even to the extent that she would make excuses or tell lies to defend her class. An example of this is when she lies to the bus driver that, "the kids with me today don't know what it is to look at a bar of chocolate", and "Lemonade never touches their lips".
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At the last minute, a strict deputy head teacher also joined the party, creating a recipe for disaster. However during the day the head relaxed and enjoyed himself only to revert his usual self at the end of the day, so in doing so he destroyed all the positive achievements of the day. Clearly, all the basics of the plays plot were very similar to that day out. In Russell's writing , he tended to take ordinary Liverpool people as its characters and usually showed that he could use his own experiences in his writing.
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We quieted down and smiled at each other as we anticipated the weekend. "I really appreciate this, Erika," I said. "I need some space-you know, some time away from my family." Erika is a compassionate friend. She has known pain and hardship. When just a child, Erika and her German family fled by foot from Russia, through Europe, to Germany. During the flight, her father was captured by the Russians and executed. Because of her own suffering, Erika was sensitive to my need to get away and treated me to a weekend in Manhattan.
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However some of the events within the play are obviously taken a step further for comic value. This reminds us that this is a play, and therefore can not ever be completely realistic, and must be given a certain amount of poetic licence. There are four teachers present on the outing: Mrs. Kay, Mr. Briggs and two younger teachers, Colin and Susan. Mrs. Kay is the teacher of the remedial class - ironically called the "Progress" class. I think she is an unusual teacher because of her attitudes and beliefs, but nonetheless believable and her character is consistent.
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Our Day Out - Analyse the cliff scene in detail showing how Russell uses dramatic impact to reveal character and convey his views
The play is about a progress class, which consists of children who are not very intelligent. They are in the progress class, as they do not have very high standards and are below average when it comes to intelligence. Their teacher is Mrs Kay. She is taking the progress class to Conwy castle in Wales for a day trip. The play is emphasising how run down and poor the children are and how when they go on a trip it's really exciting and they become extremely vigorous.
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'Our Day Out' - How does Russell interest us in the characters of Carol and Briggs? How are comedy and tragedy used to good effect in the play?
This shows us that Carol doesn't have a very high opinion of herself and she has a low self-esteem. On the bus, Carol sits by Mrs Kay, the Progress Class' teacher. As she looks out at the passing Liverpool, she says to her teacher: "Isn't it horrible, eh, miss." She goes on to explain that she doesn't like living in Liverpool, with the 'dirt'. She explains that she likes the 'nice' places, with the trees and gardens. She asks Mrs Kay whether she would be able to live in a 'nice place' when she's older. There's a pause, while Mrs Kay looks for an appropriate answer, because she probably knows that Carol will end up living in poverty, like her parents, unable to afford many luxuries.
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It is very clear from the beginning that Mrs Kay supports the children. She supports them in the way that she does because she knows that these children have no real chance in life and therefore feels sorry for them so she tries to support them as much as she can. These children will probably end up on the 'dole' or stuck in a dead end job so Mrs Kay tries to make sure that there is at least one happy time in their lives (the trip), as their lives will probably be filled with misery.
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Look at the Way Tension is Built up in Scene 35. Examine the Characters of Mr. Briggs and Carol Chandler and Explain how Language adds to the Dramatic Effect of this Scene.
The teachers that are meant to accompany the trip are Susan Colin and Mrs. Kay but the head teacher doesn't trust Mrs. Kay and sends Mr. Briggs to accompany them "I don't want to be unprofessional but I get the feeling that she sees education as one long game." The teachers on the trip don't want Mr. Briggs on the trip in much the same way that Mr. Briggs doesn't want to be on it either. "He's come to keep an eye on us." "Make sure we don't enjoy ourselves." Throughout the play a conflict between Mr. Briggs and Mrs.
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During the course of the day the deputy head relaxed and enjoyed himself, only to revert to his usual self at the end of the day. In doing so, he destroyed all the positive achievements of the day. This play is about a progress class, which go on a trip for the first time. Mrs Kay cares for the children a great deal and just wants them to have fun as long as they don't hurt anyone or themselves. The deputy head who joins the trip unexpectedly changes this and believes they should be quiet and not have as much fun in order to learn.
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"The major themes in Our Day Out are the lack of education, lack of opportunity and deprivation in inner city Liverpool - Show how Willy Russell makes the audience aware of these ideas".
The children speak with slang and "Scouse Dialect" all through the play and this is an astute way that Willy Russell shows how the children were brought up. It shows that while growing up the children were probably influenced by the way their parents spoke and behaved as well as how there parents actually brought them up. The character Carol illustrates the lack of education, she is the product of someone born in the inner city to parents who don't love or care for her.
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Our day out - With whom does Willy Russell intend the audience to sympathize and identify? Give reasons and evidence from the play in your answer.
The opening of the play sets the scene for the rest of the story. Russell uses slang and dialect, which the audience can recognize to that of the inner city of Liverpool. " Agh ey, Les. Come on. I wanna get t'school" This use of slang and dialect is used throughout and creates a humorous setting for the rest of the play. Carol one of the main characters in the play, is first introduced during scene one. She is portrayed as being shy and a bit of a loner and coming from a poor or underprivileged background.
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But for most of the kids on this trip its their first time outside Liverpool. But they also went to other places along the way like the zoo, beach and the fair. The zoo and the beach were both to the objection of Briggs, but the fun fair was his idea due to a change in heart. The story our day out begins with Les the lollipop man helping kids cross the road. He is helping a girl called Carol cross the road who comes running up, with a school uniform which she also uses as her Sunday best and street clothes.
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The play is set in mid September at about 4.30 pm and the weather is sunny, the characters are outside making the most of the late summer evening. The characters There are nine characters in the play, five main characters and four secondary characters: - Jake is fourteen and slightly built. He is wearing a well worn but neat uniform. His hair is neatly cut. He is wearing glasses that are held together on the bridge with tape. Jake is very quiet, lacks confidence around other teenagers and likes to keep himself to himself.
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Mr. Briggs from Willy Russell’s Our Day Out. Who’s teaching style do you think is bestFor the Progress Class?
Briggs. On the other hand, Mr. Briggs is looked upon as a mean, strict and unforgiving teacher. Although he does care for the children, he shies about showing it. At the beginning, when Mr. Briggs is going to accompany Mrs. Kay on the trip, the children's happiness is suddenly turned upside down into sadness because they think that they won't have any fun now. As soon as he enters the bus, "Briggs stares at the Kids. All the Kids spot a cloud on the blue horizon." The only person that Briggs gets along with is himself. In the first part of this essay, I am going to describe Mrs.
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The major themes in our day out are the lack of education, opportunity and deprivation the inner city; discuss how Willy Russell makes the audience aware of these situations.
Whilst Mr Briggs wants the trip to be for educational purposes Mrs Kay wants the children to have a good day away from Liverpool. Willy Russell uses the idea of a school day out as a technique of presenting his views to the audience, he uses the characters to express his views as he puts his thoughts into their mouths and we learn many things just through the general conversations of the children. The first example of this we see is when Carol is speaking about their surroundings on the bus, "Isn't it horrible eh miss."
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“Our Day Out” is a political play. Willy Russell wants us to think about his characters and the world that they inhabit. What is your response to the drama, and the way it is told?
He is concerned that the trip should have an educational purpose, and is unsure of the discipline that the teachers already on the trip will induce, further backed by the Headmaster, when he refers to Mrs Kay, in charge of the 'Progress Class,' "I don't want to be unprofessional and talk about my staff, but I feel that she sees education as one long game!" He says that Mrs Kay keeps the children 'entertained' by 'reading machines and plasticine. Mrs Kay, on the other hand is what Briggs and the Headmaster feels is 'anti-establishment.'
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Mrs Kay considered education a bit of a joke, and that Mr Briggs would fail to educate the children. Personally, I am strung between two sides. On one hand, Mrs Kay is correct in understanding that children have feelings, she acts "more like a mother and daughter" to the pupils. On the other hand, she is mistaken in making assumptions based on a child's attitude. The children might want and have the ability to learn, for example, when Carol asks Mrs Kay "If I started to work hard now an' learned how to read, eh?
- Word count: 2294