Joyful And Triumphant by Robert Lord

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Joyful and Triumphant combines the unity of a single day's activity with the sweep of 40 years of the Bishop family's- and New Zealand's- history. Discuss New Zealand's changing social patterns revealed in Lord's play. In the play Joyful and Triumphant Robert Lord uses the characters to reveal the changing social patterns in New Zealand from the late 1940's to the 1980's. The character of Raewyn Bishop particularly shows this as she starts off the play as a rebellious child and grows into an independent young woman that represents New Zealand and its increasing independency. This could be due to the changes happening in New Zealand at the time such as the introduction of Rock'n'Roll music and more liberated public opinions. Rose Bishop is another character who show these changes as she struggles to overcome her conservative lifestyle in a more open and liberal New Zealand society. Raewyn Bishop is the eldest child of Ted and Brenda Bishop and is born around 1944 which means she is growing up in a country that is undergoing many post-war developments. She is a headstrong and opinionated character and this is reflected in her actions. In the 1950's when Rock'n'Roll music is introduced into New Zealand Raewyn is reflected in the rebellious youth culture it promotes. "She knows I'm not going to let her go platinum blonde. Not at thirteen. She won't look anything like Marilyn Monroe." She continues to push the boundaries set by her parents who take advice from her grandparents who represent the more conservative and mainstream views of the public at this time as New Zealand is still somewhat attached to Britain and its societal constraints. This is demonstrated when Raewyn begins dating and at seventeen years of age this is deemed too young. "Boyfriend? What boyfriend? She's just a baby." This is made worse when they discover that Raewyn is pregnant and the father is Maori. Although Raewyn's parents claim that "it's not that the boy's a Maori" they clearly are not happy with it as "these mixed marriages never work." This shows that although New Zealanders were not openly racist they had subtle reservations when it came to dealing with people from other cultures. Raewyn also shows other changes in New Zealand's social pattern. New Zealand was initially quite a conservative country that took its origins form Britain. Around the 1970's divorce became a more popular option for New Zealand couples as it used to be almost socially unacceptable for a couple to divorce without a legitimate reason.

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