This sample paper on Blue Remembered Hills offers a framework of relevant facts based on recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body, and conclusion of the paper below.
Blue Remembered Hills revolves around a summer’s afternoon in a remote country setting and is about seven children and the tasks they go through in a day. The play includes many forms of cruelty for example; physical bullying, animal cruelty, child abuse and emotional bullying.
Blue Remembered Hills was set in 1943. The play contributes to the theme cruelty in a number of ways for example Peter shows physical bullying when he says “I will! I’ll spit! Right in the middle of your face…” I think the reason why there was so much bullying taking place is because the boys want to show they’re the alpha male.
As the play was set in 1943 it relates to World War 2 you can tell this because the children play war games. I think this also adds to the cruelty because it’s the children have grown up around war and violence and it’s all they know. At one point in the play it shows how the children poison apples to try and kill the Germans, this shows they have been bought up thinking they should be trying to kill people. I think this shows that their parents may have said something about poisoning things to kill the Germans because why else would a seven year old want to poison things?
When Was Blue Remembered Hills Written
Another point which shows bullying and being bought up in war times is when Peter finds Donald crying. He taunts him for behaving like a baby but then relents when he remembers that Donald’s father has been captured by the Japanese.
They also thought the Italian army were after capturing them because the siren from the nearby Prisoner of War camp sounds. The boys and girls in the forest hear the siren and hide in a ditch, afraid that the escaped Italian prisoner will find them. This shows that all they thought about was war and fighting.
They lived in poor socio economic area where they have to find their own entertainment which they have found by bullying each other. They also found entertainment by killing animals. The children remarkably kill a squirrel as they knock it from a tree they then throw a stone they viciously stamp and stamp and stamp with great ferrocity. Peter then gets angry when Raymond refuses to lend his knife so that they can cut off its tail. Raymond was clearly upset about it as he says to Peter “Is- is him d-dud dead?” and Peter reply’s “Oy. ‘Course him is. Deader than dead.” I think that from what Peter said it shows he’s pleased that the squirrel is dead, I also think that it’s slightly worrying that a seven year old child wants to cut a squirrel’s tail off. I also think the reason why he wants to cut the tail off is because the play is set in rural area therefore the children have lots of freedom and because of the area they lived in no-one stopped them.
Potter display’s cruelty in other aspects during the play, another is war cruelty. War cruelty is dealt with in a number of ways; the first is the way the children react to the Italians. As shown on the T.V and in the book as soon as they hear the sirens they automatically think the Italians are after them as nobody has told them any different. They are also constantly worried someone is after them as shown in the text and T.V a number of times for example they poison an apple and give them to the Germans so they die and can’t come and get them.
Physical bullying is prominent in the play Blue Remembered Hill’s, it is shown a number of times one of them is when Peter asks if he can have some apple Willie says “You can have the core.” Then Peter replies “You can have my fist.” I think this shows that Peter may have experience violence during some path of his life as his instant reaction was to answer with violence.
In the play everyone bullies each other in the group which shows how they were bought up with bulling surrounding them for example the boy with a stutter bullies a girl with glasses.
The play highlights the way children act and behave when unsupervised by adults. Emotional bullying is very prominent. The children emotionally bully to feel powerful and to get what they what, for example Audrey is crying, which she is obviously doing for effect and to get her own way and not because she is hurt by the children’s actions, the group then felt sorry for her and let her be the nurse in the game they were playing. This shows how manipulative a child can be and how even at this young age she has learnt to use her emotions to get what she wants. I think there are so many examples of emotional bullying because Dennis Potter wanted to show how even seven year old children can be very manipulative to get what they want.
Dennis Potter uses adult actors in his play for a number of reasons because he wants us to judge and criticise the children in new eyes. The reasoning behind this is that he wants us to see them in a new light. That they are not always innocent and sweet, and by having adults play them this would take away the ‘Ahh’ factor. This is a side of a seven year old that I have never imagined before. The playwright considered by using children the audience would perceive them as being “cute”. This was not the message that he wished to portray.
I think the poem which concludes the film and book is used to tell the audience that if you grow up a bully you will always be a bully. I Also think that the line from the poem saying “The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.” is trying to say how the place where the barn burnt down, which the children shared many happy memories, will never be the same and they will never be able to visit with out thinking of the tragic things they did that day the poem goes;
“Into my heart, an air that kills
From yon far country blows
What are those blue remembered hills?
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shinning plain.
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.”
The essence of the conclusion is to suggest that childhood does not always bring about happy memories, in fact the opposite is often true, and the experience of childhood is often taken into the adult world. Dennis Potter was being ironic at this point, he claimed that if children were bullies at that tender point in their lives then it was plausible to believe that they would be bullies in adulthood. The part of the play which affected me the most, was to see the character of Donald when he was rocking and isolated from the others, showing the state of a disturbed mind. I would recommend this play for the viewing of all ages.