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

750 Words Feb 6th, 2012 3 Pages
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
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She seems to feel comforted by the language, and depends on her German culture despite what has happened. It also illustrates how Eva chooses to rebel against being pushed into an English identity.
Eva is forced to leave Germany and her Jewish culture at the young age of 9. Despite this, her values are still very strong. For example, a very traditional Jewish view is that pigs are dirty animals and therefore should not be eaten. When Eva is offered ham, she refuses it. “Got ham in. I not to eat ham. It from pig.” Alike to a lot of children when doing something that’s not approved of by their parents, Eva believes that her mother will find out if she disobeys the Jewish rules and eats the ham. This shows how although Eva is no longer living with her Jewish family, she still continues to abide by the rules she has followed her entire life. This displays to the audience how Eva holds onto her past, and her Jewish/German identity
. Throughout Kindertransport, Eva often seems confused as to whether her identity remains English or German. On her first arrival, she is very much more German, however as the play progresses and Eva spends more time in England, her English identity widens. Eventually, she decides to change her identity once and for all. She changes her name, to a much more English name - Evelyn. She changes her birthday to the first day she arrives in England – this suggests that she believes she began her
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