How Is the Theme of Identity Explored in Kindertransport by Diane Samuels?

Topics: English people, England, United Kingdom Pages: 2 (758 words) Published: February 22, 2012
Consider ways in which Diane Samuels explores ideas of identity in this play in Act 1 Scene 2, and elsewhere in the act. Kindertransport is a short play, written by Diane Samuels. The play reflects various themes throughout, including the contrast between past and present, childhood memories, mother and daughter relationships, and most importantly the role of identity. An immediate strong indication of Eva’s identity, when she first arrives in England at the beginning of Act One, Scene Two, is her German language. The language is noticed when an English officer speaks to Eva. Despite the officer speaking to her in English, she replies in German, she does this because she barely understands English. “I’m sorry, love. I can’t understand a word you’re saying.” The officer tells her. This shows how Eva is instantly alienated from England on her arrival. It also illustrates authority the officer has over Eva. Lil plays a big part in diminishing the German within Eva, and replacing it with English. When Lil first meets Eva at the train station, she immediately removes Eva’s Star of David. Eva is hesitant but does not stop Lil, she seems wary of throwing away the star. This reflects how throughout the play, Lil encourages Eva to throw away her German identity. To add to this, further on in the play Lil assures Eva that her religion is not real. “Look love, if it’s God you’re worried about, the Lord Jesus said that we needn’t keep to the old laws any more. They had their days years ago.” This again presents to the audience how Lil pushes Eva into the English culture. As the play progresses, Eva learns English and speaks it almost fluently. However, she often speaks German when she’s feeling upset. For instance, on page 37, Lil is unhappy with Eva after returning late home from school. Lil lectures her, but Eva will only reply in German. This demonstrates to the audience how Eva is comforted by the language; it may remind her of her past she longs to relive. “Don’t hide...
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