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How does Peter Brook (director of the 1963 version of LOTF) establish setting and...

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mwain | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 3, 2009 at 4:18 AM via web

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How does Peter Brook (director of the 1963 version of LOTF) establish setting and context (historical context) and how effective is this montage?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 3, 2009 at 5:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Peter Brook establishes the setting and the context by presenting a collection of still photographs, most of which were taken during the evacuation of the children from London during World War II. This effectively establishes the idea that the boys end up on the island as a result of being evacuated from England during a war, but does not make clear that the novel itself takes place during an atomic war, after the events that are shown in the film's montage. This can be confusing if one has not read the novel, because no where else is it really made clear in the film that the events are occurring in the future. There is one instance of a jet plane going over the island, but an unsophisticated viewer may simple mistake the sound for that of any airplane.  The "beast" or the parachutist is also shown wearing a jet pilots helmet, but again, the World War II scenes have set the expectation that the action is occurring during World War II. If the audience of the film has not read the book, one of the central ironies of the novel is lost. That is the idea that, even after the boys are rescued, they are returning to a world that is probably going to be destroyed anyway and their rescue is only a temporary reprieve from their probable deaths.

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