THE SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS

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THE SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS

Introduction
Blue Remembered Hills is a play set in 1943 written by Dennis Potter. It studies a group of seven-year-olds playing in the Forest of Dean one summer afternoon until the character Donald, or better known as "Donald Duck" by his friends, is burned to death as a result of the other childrens' actions. The play comprises a variety of brutality - including: emotional abuse, physical abuse, child abuse, and animal cruelty. This essay will be covering the social and historical context of these cruel elements in the play.

Socio-Historical Context 1
Historically, Blue Remembered Hills shows the innocence of children from their reactions to the violent activities of 1943, including World War Two. For example, at the very beginning of the play, Willie (one of the children) pretends to be a bombing plane whilst playing outside: "Waaaom vroaak! At-a-tat-tat! Waa-zooom! At-a-tat-tat!". Potter's use of onomatopoeia shows the fact that as a result of the constant bombing threats society used to receive from the Germans during the bombing period known as "The Blitz", children started imitating all the chaotic noise. "At-a-tat-tat!" marks the sounds a pistol or rifle would make, whereas "Waaaom vroaak!" would probably be a bombing plane. Towards the end of the quote, Willie slowly sinks into a dimmer sound of "Waa-zoom!", this may imply how those bombing planes may be falling from the sky and how children enjoyed seeing all the excitement of it. As for social context: not only does this quote in the very first line show how children thought pretending "bombing planes" was entertaining, but also marks how easily influenced they were by society as it became something common for them.

Socio-Historical Context 2
Historical context of 1943 is also highlighted in Scene 6, where the children remarkably kill a squirrel as they knock it from a tree. Peter then gets angry when Raymond refuses to lend...
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