Stereotypes in Our Day Out Essay

Stereotypes in Our Day Out Essay

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Stereotypes in Our Day Out

Can Willy Russell be accused of using stereotypes as a means of
putting his opinions forward?

Throughout the play; ‘Our Day Out’, written by Willy Russell, there is
a constant use of stereotypes portrayed in the characters. Stereotypes
are standardised characters or a fixed idea of something. Willy
Russell used stereotyping as an effective way of putting his opinions
forward because he could develop his initial ideas for characters to
raise awareness of what Liverpool was like in the 1970s. In my opinion
Willy Russell wanted to show the general life of many children in
Liverpool in the 1970s and also to show that stereotypes create false
views of certain people and are harmful in general.

In the text, the main characters are children and teachers in 1970S
Liverpool. Teachers are often stereotyped anyway; people presume that
they are strict and disliked or the opposite. This contrast is shown
with the two characters Mr Briggs, who is rather strict and Mrs Kay
who is not. In the play Mr Briggs is often shouting at the children or
telling them off: “Never mind what for, just do what you’re told,
lad.” This emphasises the point that he is stern. There are no points
in the text where Mrs Kay has this attitude directly towards the

The children in the play are also stereotyped because they live in a
rough area and don’t have many opportunities- because of the fact that
they live in Liverpool. In the play the children swear and steal,
suggesting that they are somewhat deprived; they break the law and are
impolite as they don’t know any better and have been brought up in a
way which it is natural to do so. They are underprivileged as when
they encounter animals at the ...

... middle of paper ...

... he is very caring. I feel that Willy Russell uses stereotypes
as a means of putting his opinions forward because stereotypes are so
powerful and would make his opinions clear without directly linking
them to him. They also make the text more understandable for the
reader and intended audience.

As a final point, I feel that Willy Russell uses stereotypes to no
only make his opinions known but also to show that stereotypes are
very powerful and maybe even deter people from using them as they can
limit a persons mind, if, for example a child had been told they
wouldn’t get a good job it may stop them from trying. Therefore Willy
Russell does use stereotypes to put forward his opinions and may also
use them to make people think carefully before they make presumptions
about someone because of their age, race, job, wealth, beliefs or even
their background.

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