Our Day Out Themes Essay

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Characters, Themes, and Dramatic Techniques in Our Day Out by Willy Russell

`Our Day Out` was written by Willy Russell to show people life in the inner city of Liverpool. There are a lot of scenes which create tension, excitement and disappointment in Our Day Out. One humorous part is Les the lollipop man, just after Carol has explained what the purpose of the progress class is, he replies "By Christ, I bet she's kept busy, they're all bloody backward around here". The use of slang "I'll keep dixie" and swearing "right, dickheads move" create a realistic impression of the characters. Accents are also used in Our Day Out, mainly by Carol who has a distinguishable accent… "Agh,ey Les…". Using…show more content…

Mrs Kay is by far the kids preferred teacher. This is because she is very relaxed and motherly towards the children. She cares for the children and listening to their points of view, gives her a good understanding of them. Her caring nature comes across through her use of familiar expressions when dealing with the children… "Well, you could try couldn't you, love?" Later in the play Mrs Kay has an argument with Briggs. She supports the kids a great deal during the argument… "You're on their side, aren't you?" Briggs challenged, "Absolutely, Mr Briggs, absolutely!" Her relaxed nature is evident from her actions and demeanour, particularly in those scenes where she is seen sitting with a coffee, while the kids play havoc… "Stocking feet curled under her".

Briggs is a completely different person to Mrs Kay. Throughout the play, he repeatedly snaps comments at the children… "Reilly, Dickson, Sit down!" The constant snapping, shouting and staccatos from Mr Briggs, proves his lack of empathy for the children. Briggs has a problem, in that he doesn't understand the children's deprivation - their lack of parental affection, poor educational background and generally the good things in life. Briggs cannot agree with Mrs Kay, when she expresses her views on the children's destiny… "You are in a job that is designed and funded to fail." She says Briggs job is worth nothing because

Our Day Out by Willy Russell

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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.

Introduction.

The play that I am writing about is called ‘Our Day Out’ and it was
written by Willy Russell. The main theme of the play is to tell the
reader what life was like for people (mainly children) in Liverpool in
the 1970s and what their education was like. During the 1970s 100 000
jobs were lost in Liverpool because the docks had been closed and all
of the factories were closing down. The unemployment went up, the
streets got dirty, there was no money in education and the only thing
that the kids could do was play on the streets and get into trouble.

I think that this is like the play by Willy Russell because all the
factories were closing down, the docks had been closed and there was
rubbish all over the streets. It’s also the same because all the kids
had given up on life and their teachers had given up on them ever
getting a job.

The play is about under achieving children who have been given the
chance to go on a trip to Conwy Castle in Wales. Their teacher knows
that there is no hope for them and they don’t want to learn anything.
She is also a soft teacher so the headmaster decides to send a strict
teacher along with her. As well as the castle they also went to the
zoo, the beach and the funfair.

Part 1: Carol at the school gates.

Carol’s use of language shows how there is a lack of education and
opportunity in Liverpool at this time by the way that she says words
like “ Agh, ey, wanna, t’, and goin’ ”. She also repeats words and
pauses a lot. This shows that she might live in a rough background
where people use abbreviations, slag a lot and have poor communication
skills. Carol is suppose to be funny because she acts like she is
smart and a normal person when she knows that she’s not and this makes
her sound even more pathetic. It is also because she agrees with Les
when he says ‘There all backwards round here’ and she always asks
stupid questions. Carol is fooling her self about living in a nice
place because she has no basic skills to get a job and buy a house in.

Part 2: At the zoo.

When Ronson is stood at the bear pit he is trying to say that even

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Willy Russell         Inner City         Factories         Liverpool         Use Of Language         Closed         Funny         Wanna         Streets        




though the bear was brought up in captivity would it think about a
better life and trying to escape to it. The bears and the progress
class are similar because:

Bear

Progress class

It is kept behind bars.

There lives are terrible at home.

It is mad and bad tempered.

It wants to be free.

They want a better life.

It is treated badly.

It knows about a better ways of living.

A dramatic device is a word or a sentence that has a lot of tension in
it. Carol is a good example of how deprived these pupils are because
she doesn’t know where anywhere is apart from anywhere in Liverpool,
there are no jobs for them, they don’t get taught much, they have poor
communication skills and they use a lot of slang. Willy Russell uses
Ronson in a similar way to show that the progress class would behave
differently given the chance.

Part 3: Use of stage directions- at the children’s zoo.

Willy Russell’s stage directions are different to many others because
he adds more description and he puts in a lot more information into it
e.g. ‘Ronson answers by picking up the rabbit and gently stroking it.
Carol reaches over to join him but he pulls it close to him
protectively.’ The way that Ronson and Carol act in the children’s zoo
suggests that they don’t have there own pets in Liverpool because
there parents can’t afford it and they don’t think they will be looked
after properly. They way that they look after the pets in the zoo
suggest that if they were given the opportunity they can look after
it.

Part 4: On the cliff.

This is the most dramatic scene in the play because both Briggs and
Carol are on the top of a very high cliff top, Briggs is very angry
with Carol, Carol is very depressed and wants to jump of the cliff and
Briggs moves ‘slowly’ towards Carol and she moves closer to the edge
of the cliff. Briggs changes from his miserable character to a happy
one because he is pleased that Carol is safe he hugs her and decides
not to shout. It is important that the audience believes that Briggs
has changed and that things could get better for the progress group
because if they don’t then they will wonder why he is laughing, joking
and having fun at the fair. We are meant to feel let down and sad at
the end because there were a lot of good pictures on the film
including some of Briggs smiling and having fun instead of being
miserable and instead of developing the pictures like he promised he
over-exposed them and screwed them up. Willy Russell shows his
audience that a day out didn’t solve anything because at the end of it
th photos were ruined and Brigs still ignored Carol.



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