Topic: Family, Life & ExperiencesRelationships

Last updated: February 6, 2020

TITLE:How is the theme of seperation explored in Diane Samuels Kindertransport?

INTRO (inc thesis statement / reference to what 3 body paragraphs will consist of / put it in some kind of historical context / talk about play’s genre)

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The Kindertransport book, written by Diane Samuels in 1995, examines several themes throughout the play mainly including seperation and the loss of identity. The short play also consists of many contrasts between the mother and daughters present and past relationships. This essay will show how seperation is presented in the play, and will mainly depict the Mother and daughter relationship, culture and seperation from religion.

BODY PARAGRAPH 1- Mother-daughter relationship

Point 1: Diane Samuels clearly defines the Kindertransport as seperation. The children are seperated from their parents and in order to avoid persecution which they would undergo if they stayed in the country, they have to emigrate to England. From the beginning of Act 1, Eva is forced to take the Kindertransport to escape and assures her parents that everything will be fine. “Mutti! Vati! Hello! Hello! See. I did get into the carriage. I said I would. See i’m not crying. I said I wouldn’t,” (Act 1, Page 17). As Eva boards the Kindertransport, she is nervous, but also excited and tries to comfort her mother as she says that she is not crying, which they most likely were. The relationship between Eva and Helga throughout this play is strong and loving, although Eva can be difficult to deal with and disobedient at times. As Helga teaches Eva how to sew, she rejects her offer and says: “I don’t want to sew…” (Act 1, Scene 1, Page 1). Helga seems like a patient mother who wants the best for her daughter and cares about her. The foreshadowing of seperation builds throughout the course of the play. When Eva asks her mother in Act 1 what an abyss and a chasm is, the words represent the unknown and the seperation as well as symbolism.

Point 2: The relationship between Faith and Evelyn is also loving, but odd at times. The way Evelyn educates and upbrings her daughter reflects her past, the culture and religion she lost during her time in England. Evelyn is one of the characters who can be compared to a perfectionist as she is constantly cleaning from the beginning of the play, but throughout the play, we can see that Evelyn becomes more unhappy and unstable with her life. She uses short sentences to contrast the rough language she has at times. “It seems perfectly straightforward to me.” The short sentences create tension and fear of what will proceed. Samuels uses objects to show the relationship between the characters for example the ratcatcher who is a dark fictional character and steals children to create fear. As Faith is packing her belongings to live on her own, Evelyn takes her as a grown up and says: “You’re quite capable of choosing a place to live without my help.” Evelyn trusts Faith and respects her daughter like an adult.

Point 3: The relationships between Eva and Helga, and Faith and Evelyn are very similar. Eva and Helga both have a loving relationship, although Eva can sometimes be a difficult child who is hard to deal with. Evelyn takes the example of her mother and raises her daughter in a similar way. The relationship between Faith and Evelyn is fairly similar. Evelyn takes the example of her mother Helga which is clearly shown as he helps Faith pack her clothes in Act 1. Both mothers love their daughters and and have a good relationship with them, although they can be harsh at times, because they want their daughters to have a good future and care about them.


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