Dennis Potters' Blue Remembered Hills

Dennis Potters' Blue Remembered Hills

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Dennis Potters' Blue Remembered Hills

A.E. Houseman’s poem looks back at childhood as a “land of lost
content” meaning that when you are a child you are innocent and you
don’t have a care in the world. Also he says that childhood is a
“happy highway where I went / and cannot come again” meaning that they
are the best years of your life but you can never go back there.
Dennis Potter took the poem and turned it in to a play about a group
of children who were on there school holidays in the forest of dean in
Gloucester. Potter is asking if childhood is such a land of lost
content and is children so innocent.

The poem was set in the summer of 1943 and there were 5 boys and 2
girls who were played by adults. The first person we meet is Willie
who is playing at being a spitfire. Next we meet peter who is a bit of
a bully. There is Audrey who is a bit of an ugly tag-along and then
there is Angela who is a pretty girl who orders Audrey about. There is
also Raymond who has a stutter and John he is a bit of a hero and is
number 2 last there is Donald he is a bit of a pyromaniac.

In the play the behaviour is realistic because that is what they would
really do if they were in the forest of dean. They do things that
only children do for example in scene 5 Donald, Angela and Audrey are
fanaticising about being adults and are playing houses. Also they
laugh about knickers being made out of silk. John and peter have a
fight in scene 11. It all started in scene 10 Raymond was standing on
his head and Audrey shouted that there was blood in his ear and John
was standing up for Raymond and Peter was trying to make Raymond loose
and then they get in to a fight and John won and peter was running
away “Run, babby, run!” and peter ends up in the old barn talking to
Donald. In this part of the play Dennis Potter is trying to make them
look as if they are not so innocent. They are being deliberately
cruel when they are trying to knock a squirrel out of a tree and they
eventually knock it out and kill it. An incident of when they are
unintentionally being cruel is when they trap Donald in the barn when
Donald is starting a fire in amongst the hay.

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The other children did
this because they wanted to trap him in the barn but did not realize
that he had started a fire in it. In a way they were being cruel by
locking him in the barn to begin with.

“Doosn’t call I that, Angela! You promised!” this is when in scene 5;
Angela and Audrey are calling Donald “Donald Duck” and going “Quack
Quack” at him. Donald goes in to the corner of the barn and “Jabbing
their forefingers at him, they drive him towards the barn wall. He
claps his hands to his hands to shut out his jeering taunts. In what
looks, in adult form, almost like a psychotic frenzy” Also they are
being very cruel to Donald and he starts to cry and rock. This is a
part of the play of when they are being like adults in that they are
playing houses and Donald is swearing.

Dennis Potter has adults playing the children because they have
experience of being a child. Also it makes it a bit funny because they
look weird when they are doing things that you would only children
would normally do. Also using adults make them seem less innocent as
they are bigger.

I think that Dennis Potter had a fun and exciting childhood for a few
reasons. In the poem he show the children playing and enjoying
themselves in there summer holidays and if he wanted childhood to
appear sad and unhappy then he would have had them when they weren’t
having fun. Also he thinks that they are not as sweet and innocent as
they might seem to be. A reason I think he does this is because they
can be harmful towards each other. An example is when they lock Donald
in the barn. He also shows that they can let there imaginations run
away like when they thought the P.O.W had escaped from the camp down
the road and they thought they could catch him even though they
thought that he would have had to kill a few guards to get out.
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