Kindertransport Essay on the Effects of 1930s/40s Germany

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Re-read Act 2 Scene 2 from page 84/page 83 in the new edition (HELGA. You should change your mind and come with me.) to the end of the play. Discuss how Samuels presents the effects of events in 1930s/40s Germany on the characters in this extract and at least one other point in the play. In this extract Samuels presents the significant effects that events in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s have not only on Evelyn and Eva but on the characters presented throughout the play. Through the traumatic separation of Eva from her family, country, Jewish heritage and in turn Evelyn’s conflict between her past and present Samuels illustrates the struggle that many Jewish Kindertransport children would have experienced during this period in history. Act 2 Scene 2 presents Eva, and as a result Evelyn, as emotionally scarred by the events in 1930s/40s Germany. This end scene highlights the theme of separation that is so prevalent throughout the play; this can be seen through Evelyn’s emotive monologue in which she asks ‘Why did you send me away…no one made you’. Her use of rhetorical questions aimed at her mother Helga stresses the confusion and lack of closure that many of the Kindertransport children had to cope with for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, the fact that Eva was a part of the Kindertransport leads to her feeling abandoned and isolated from her past life, emotions which cause her to make the decision to change her name to Evelyn. Through this change of name and therefore identity Samuels intends to show the audience that Eva’s coping mechanism is to detach herself entirely from her past life, this becomes clear when she rejects her birth Mother Helga in this scene. This total rejection of Evelyn’s past was created by Diane Samuel’s to mimic the reactions of real Kindertransport children. A crucial part of Samuel’s research for her play was hearing the real

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