How Is Britishness Represented in East Is East, This Is England and Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood Speech?

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  • Topic: United Kingdom, British National, British nationality law
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  • Published : October 20, 2008
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How is Britishness represented in East is East, this is England and Enoch Powell’s rivers of blood speech?

In its most simple form; Britishness is simply living within the nation of Britain, with a British passport and obeying and abiding to the laws and rules of the land. However, many people have and still do, see Britishness as something much more than just your nationality. People can view Britishness as a way of life where you have to abide and live up to certain values and fit in with certain stereotypes. The ideal british citizen would be typically white, with all their ancestors and relatives coming from nowhere else but Britain. They are all ‘hard working’, attend the church of England, have a fry up every morning, drink tea, visit their local on a regular basis and are exceedingly patriotic for their mighty island nation, continuing to fight with their bull dog determination. However, if people do not fit into such a stereotype, then the traditional image of Britain is threatened by change and diversity; and people who live up to the British ideal feel threatened also. This is how racism is created within a society.

Both This is England and east is east portray in different ways the effects and reactions of what happens when people of a different cultural background choose to live out their ethnic cultured lifestyle within Britain, where as this is England focuses on the gang culture fuelled by hate that has been generated by the intrusion of immigrants into ‘their’ country. Enoch Powell’s rivers of blood speech is actual verbal attack from a man who supposed to be a future prime minister, on the ethnic minorities and immigrants that had every right to live within Britain.

On the front cover for east is east, the focul point is on that of Tariq, a young man who only goes out with white English girls in order to integrate with british culture and cut of all ties with his eastern cultures background. He is at the for front of the page standing in front of the other characters showing him as the main character within the film. Tariq is standing side on giving the viewers a cheeky look and thumbs up showing, with his white girlfriend pressing in to him (although he is not purposefully touching her). This shows him a young jack the lad who has his way with the ladies but ultimately loves them and leaves them alone. Often thought of as the common and most popular for a young English man to behave. To the right of him in the background of the the cover we see ‘Arthur’ (given that name in order for him to get into clubs and it also being a very typical british name, letting him integrate with british culture and society. Within the film he is depicted, almost as his brother Tariq, sidekick. Following in the footsteps of trying to get the girls, but exactly having the same technique as his brother. On the cover you see him with a slightly larger girl clinging on to him with a loving face while he leans back from her embrace with a look of distress. To the left of the cover in the background we see Nazir, an art student who not only fits within british culture but it is completely liberal as well. This is shown by his sense of dress, being overtly modern, and they way in which he looks towards Arthur in his ’predicament’ showing a look of humour upon his face. Next to him is ’Ghandi’ (given his name because of his strong religious beliefs, although Ghandi was in fact a Hindu and not a Muslim). He is dressed in typically british clothes, although he still wears a skull cap due to his very strong muslim faith. He too, looks across towards Arthur, however, not with humour, but more disgust, again due to his strong faith. Below the characters is a very apt quote from ’Time out’ saying “It’s the dogs b*ll**cks”, a very british saying reflecting the entire films theme of an eastern family trying to fit in with british society.

The front cover of this is England shows all the main characters of the skin head gang lined...
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