With whom does Willy Russell intend the audience to sympathise, Mrs Kay or Mr Briggs
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1174
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The play ‘Our Day Out’ is about a progress class going on a trip with two of their teachers Mrs. Kay and Mr. Briggs. The personalities that Mrs. Kay has are that she is kind and understanding, meanwhile Mr. Briggs is rude, arrogant and unsympathetic towards the progress class. When the play was set in Liverpool in the 1980s’ they were a lot of disasters. Liverpool suffered a recession that led to many thousands of business falling apart and hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs due to the significant number of unemployment, Liverpool were amongst the highest rate of unemployment in the UK in the 80s’.
Finally, the play was written by Willy Russell who was born in Whiston, in 1914, he left school with one 0-level grade in GCSE English, he’s mum owned a hairdresser, but he went and worked six years of his life with his mum. At the beginning of the play of Act One the audience feels little sympathy for Mr. Briggs because he is very arrogant and an unsympathetic person towards the children “You’ve got some real bright sparks here” Mr. Briggs shows open contempt for the students.
He mocks them to their faces and this is ridicule would make them feel stupid and demotivated, Mrs. Kay on the other hand is a genuine person cares about the students and wants them to have a good day as of the line “By and large, I reckon she does a good job. It’s just when she gets the loose with them”. The Headmaster has a grudging respect for Mrs. Kay because, although she is idealistic, he knows she does a good job. However, she doesn’t just want to keep them quite and shut away; she wants the students to enjoy the school and learn about the world. This is why she is organising a fund day out. The audience also don’t like the way that the attitudes towards Mrs.
Kay is because he is particularly better off without her “Good. The school would better off without her” Mr. Briggs feels that his style of teaching is the only one that works. He believes idealistic teachers like Mrs. Kay are wasting their time and that everyone should lower their expectations and accept students will fail. The language of which Mr. Briggs uses is very offensive and is really arrogant, sarcastic and vulgar; this makes the audience think that Mr. Briggs is uneducated and undisciplined.
This is proven in the line “For God’s sake. Just shut up, all of you shut up! this line shows that Mr. Briggs is being rude and offensive towards Mrs. Kay which has not done anything towards him, but he the sees his mistake later on as in the line of which the stage direction shows (Than he realizes) “Erm, Sorry, sorry . Mrs. Kay? ” and at least he manage to apologise.
By the end of Act One, However, the audience begin to feel sympathy for Mr. Briggs attitude towards the students changes from being rude and aggressive to a more helpful and sincere person this shows in the line “Well, look, I’ll sort out which free periods I’ve got and we’ll organise it for then” Mr. Briggs if becoming more of a sincere person as he offers Mrs. Kay to come over one day and show her a few slides of animals, so this is clearly showing that from beginning of Act One Mr. Briggs is changing from rude to a more pleasant person.
The audience realise he feels differently about the children in the progress class when he says to offer help to the children “They’re really quite interested, the kids, aren’t they? ” He is showing some gratitude towards the progress class. Finally, at the end of Act One the audience really feels sorry for Mr. Briggs because he was personally betrayed from the kids; “I trusted you lot.
And this is the way you repay me. I trusted all of you but it’s obvious that trust is something you know nothing about” it clearly shows that Mr. Briggs has been personally betrayed and by using the word ‘Me’ and ‘I’ he is taking it in personally and after trying to care for the kids, he got trampled by the betrayal of the kids. At this point of the play the audience are worried that Briggs will return to his former state because after being betrayed he feels let down and now starts to scream at the kids; “(Screaming)” Shut up, lad! The audience now gets anxious of his sudden response.
The teaching styles of which Mr. Briggs uses is somewhat different completely to Mrs. Kay’s teaching style because at the beginning of the play Mr Briggs was showing a really bad side and contempt attitude of saying that Mrs. Kay is not interested in the students education and just wants them to be kept busy so they are quite. He dislikes Mrs. Kay because she wants to give them a full education that he thinks they do not deserve because they are in progress class, which shows that Mrs Kay is clearly more sincere and worried about the student’s education, but Mr. Briggs feels left out because of the way when is being rude and offensive towards other “Good.
The school would be better of without her” this shows that Mr. Briggs does not like Mrs. Kay one bit. The teacher that the audience prefers overall is quite tough and hard to explain because at the beginning it’s seemed that Mr. Briggs is the good old grumpy fellow, whilst Mrs. Kay being the sincere and concerning women that cared for her progress class.
However, nearing to the end of the play the tables turned and Mr. Briggs transformed and became more of a person which Mrs. Kay was surprised to see after her numerous lectures to try and convince him to take it easy on the kids, but as the mystical work of the kids Mr. Briggs got shocked and betrayed when the Shopkeeper surprised him in saying that they ‘are all animals’ and Mr. Briggs defended them, but the evidence was foreseen when an animal crept up from every angle, and triggered a surging rage of anger to Mr. Briggs, just a though the audience thought that Mr. Briggs was changing he instantly changed to his former state and raged with anger and shouted to all of the progress class.
After Act One going on to Act Two he then slowly, slowly emerged and started to change back again to a better person, but personally to me overall at the end of the play both Mr. Briggs and Mrs. Kay had turned equal to their attitudes. The teacher that I would personally be preferred to be taught by would definitely be Mrs. Kay because from the beginning until all the way until the end she was a more educated and more sincere from the start, she was caring, funny, loving and furthermore fair and wanted the progress class to enjoy the only time to be on a fun day out.