Compare and contrast the characters of Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay Essay
‘Our day out’ by Willy Russell is set in the inner city of Liverpool in the 1970’s. The play opens in a poor comprensive class on the day of a school outing to Wales. The characters are Mrs Kay, Mr Briggs, Colin, Carol, Andrews, Moris, Reilly, Digga, Linda , and Milton e. t. c.
The teachers in the school give the impression that they do not really care about the children because they think they will have no future and that if they have no future then there’s not really a point of teaching them if there not going to need it. Mr Briggs is a good example of this.Mrs Kay is kinder to the children, but Mrs Kay’s discussion with Mr. Briggs she basically says that they have no future, that they were built for factory fodder but the factorys have all closed down. This shows that she knows that they don’t have a future, but even though she knows this she is still nice to them.
The childrens attitudes are that they are rude, obnoxious, and angry at the world thay live in and dissruptive. They don’t really think much of themselves, they think there not really worth much and that they think they will just end up like there parents.I think that the children are only rude to people who are rude and disrespectful to them. The childrens behaviour shows also that the parents do not really care about them.
One of the children says that his dad beats him and its not for smoking them its because he wont give the dad any. This shows the example the parents give to them and its not a good one and they don’t treat the children well. Mr Briggs try’s to teach the children manners but this has no effect on the children. He dosent really treat them like children he treats them like things that are a waste of time.The area of Liverpool is rundown, it has broken windows in Tesco, empty corpy flats and the men are all on the dole.
This creates a picture of how rundown the area really is. It also sounds like most of the people in the area are poor. Mr Brigg’s teaching style is old fashioned and very strict. He expects all the children to behave properly and for all of them to listen and do exactly what is told and expected of them and forgets that they are children. His attitude is cold towards the children and does not really take time to get to know the children and does not have patience with them. Mrs Kay on the otherhand is caring and understands.
She knows that the children do not really have anything to look forward to but tries to teach them and be nice to them. She wants to be friends with the children and wants the children to like her and I think the children do but Briggs does not want to be friends with them because they are children. He thinks that teachers should not grow close to or become attatched to children. Mrs Kay try’s to be friendly and caring because she knows that most of there parents and other teachers give them a hard time so she tries not to be too hard on them. Mrs Kay wants the children to enjoy at least one day out.
When they can enjoy themselves and forget about all the things they are used to. The children will be away from the scenery they are used to, which is pollution and houses all one after another. It is a chance for them to see things apart from where they live because most of them have never been out of the enviorment where they live before Mrs Kay understands all this. Mr Briggs though dosent think much of the trip and only came to supervise the children and Mrs Kay and with most things to him this trip is another big waste of time and that it isnt anything usefull in there education.
But when the discussion with Carol Chandler on the cliffs takes place Mr Briggs clearly changes and we see a new different side to him. Carol wanted to live in Wales but Mr Briggs explained to her that she couldn’t she threatened to jump. After finally stopping her from jumping he promises her that he would not say anything to the other children or teachers about this and the old Mr Briggs would have been the first one to tell them all. When Carol talks about how she wants to live and have a nice house she says that it will never happen.Mr Briggs says to her ‘ Your’e talking as though you have given up on life, why cant, whats stopping you working hard at school now on, and moving out here when your older’ Mr Brigg’s personality has now changed and now understands. Him and Mrs Kay are now quite alike.
When the driver says back to school, Mr Briggs now wants them to stay and enjoy themselves, he says to the driver ‘school? ‘Back to school? ‘Its still early isnt it? Anyway-you can’t come all the way to the seaside and not pay a visit to the fair’ He is now acting like he is a different person.The discussion between him and Carol Chandler has clearly changed him. This shows that Mr Briggs isnt all bad and can be nice. He treats the children more like children and not just a waste of time. All the children start to like him now and they take pictures of him with a hat on.
It is clear that the teachers are a bit shocked at the rapid change of behavior because he has changed dramatically since the beginning of the trip and fits in better with the teachers now. But once the trip is over and they come back into their town he changes back to the personality he had originally.When he is about to get into his car he takes the film he was suppose to develop of him and the children and ruins them so there is no chance of them being developed. His attitude has changed because at the seaside he could forget about what he is suppose to be and let himself go a bit and have some fun, Once he is back in the surroundings where he lives and is use to, he changes back because he does not want the children or the teachers to see him as nice and friendly, He thinks that if the children like him he will not have control over the children and does not want the teachers to think he is nice because he thinks it is embarrasing.I think that Mr Briggs is horrible but when he changed we saw his better side of him but then turned back to being old fashioned boring and horrible because he didn’t want a reputation at the school for being friendly.
I think Mrs Kay is much nicer and understands the children better than Mr Briggs ever could and is far more nicer to them. Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay are different I think they both have different views of the children, teachers and the school but in a one way they are the same beause they both know that that most of the children do not have a future but I think there personality’s and views are very different.