Kindertransport Essay

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Discuss the role of the Ratcatcher in this extract and elsewhere in the play.
The play ‘Kindertransport’ written by Diane Samuels rotates immensely around the Ratcatcher. The Ratcatcher’s role in this extract and the whole play can be interpreted in many ways.
The given extract begins with Helga reluctantly agreeing to read ‘The Ratcatcher’ as a bedtime story to Eva. The reasons for Helga’s reluctance remain ambiguous as the play proceeds with Helga reading the book simultaneous to Faith who is in a different setting also reading the same book. The following scene is of Eva frantically leaving in a train.
Helga’s hesitancy in this extract as Eva requests The Ratcatcher books suggests an underlying implication that the tale is similar
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As the play proceeds the Ratcatcher also takes upon a number of different characters such as the Nazi Border Official, the English Organiser, the Station Guard, etc. All of these are portray threatening and patronising characters that stereotype her or simply authoritative figures. This reflects the author’s attempt to present to the reader the different viewpoints of the society about the Jews and refugees such as Eva.
In addition another key factor which has a significant impact on the manner in which the Ratcatcher’s role can be interpreted is the language used to describe him in the given extract. He is described as someone who “hisses” the aggressive words “I will find you.” The use of the strong verb “I will” indicates a threatening and predatory tone. A similarly threatening tone is used further into the play by an officer who exclaims “Sir! Sorry Sir” indicating Eva to repeat after him. The stage directions also state that the officer “bodysearches Eva” which reflect his threatening and patronising character. The similar character of authority figures to the Ratcatcher suggests that perhaps these figures are just the reality version of the Ratcatcher.
The ‘Ratcatcher Music’ is one of the factors frequently referred to in the stage directions of the play. Soon in the play it is evident that the music is often added into the scene in which
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