There are a variety of reasons why people had different interpretations of their evacuation experience. During the time when evacuation was necessary a stereotype began to develop. The stereotype, all evacuees were poor and unhealthy and moved to a rich healthy family in the country, made people believe that all people had the same experience: The poor people loved their new lifestyle and the evacuation host hated their experience because they were stuck with unhealthy children with no manners. This was not true because there would not be one experience that was the same as anyone else.
The evacuees were all from different backgrounds and had different upbringings and were placed in a house that had different surroundings to what they were used to being in. Source F is an extract from an autobiography of Bernard Kops, who was evacuated from his home in September 1939, at the age of 13. He and his sister, Rosie, had an unpleasant experience during their stay away from home. Bernard was from Stepney in the East End of London and was moved to the Buckingham countryside. As he was from the inner city in London he experienced a culture shock when he moved to a much more developed area in the country.
There are many reasons to why Bernard may not have liked this experience that he was faced with. He moved to a modern house with hot water and an indoor toilet and everything was much cleaner and although there are many people who would have loved to experience a different way of living with lots of new and interesting things to do, for Bernard this way of living was too different to what he was used to. If you are used to living your life the same way and it suddenly changes you will obviously feel different and may not like it. Within the source we are told: “Rosie whispered, she whispered for days”.
This shows us that they felt uncomfortable in their new surroundings. This is an extract from an autobiography which means that whatever has been written may have been sensationalised to make the book more appealing to the reader. It may have been partly what he remembered his experienced to have been but it may also be a distorted version of reality. Source G is a report that has been produced by the Women’s Institute. This source is very different to Source F because the experience is now through the eye of a different person. This is now though the eyes of the evacuation host rather than through the eyes of the evacuee.
This experience is not as major as the experience for the evacuee is because they do not have to move out of their house, they have just invited someone into their house. This source shows us very well the stereotype that developed throughout the evacuation process. The source implies that all of the evacuees were dirty and unhealthy. Because of the stereotype the experience for the evacuation host was negative. At one point in the source the children are called ‘verminous’. This is unfair to label all evacuees the same because of a small number of people.
The evacuation hosts were not totally to blame for their view. These people were so rich that they had never experienced anything like this before. They had never been into the inner cities of London so they did not have the knowledge to know what situation these children had been brought up in. They felt as though their house was being infested by dirt and disease and they felt that it was unfair for them to be placed in this situation. The evacuation host may have had this bad of an experience because they have never experienced anything like this before.
These children were poorer and less looked after than their servants that looked after them. After the Second World War labour was voted into power. This was partly to do with these women. After their experience of evacuation their eyes were opened to a new way of living and they did not like what they saw. They wanted to try to help the people who were living in this unhealthy way. The richer people wanted to be able to help the poorer people in the country and they thought that the best way for them to do this would be to change the leader of the country.
There were not only these women who had a bad experience. In the book Memoirs of Lord Chandos we are told about his experience of how bad the children who he took in were. He explains how they had no knowledge about hygiene and no respect for anyone. Although the stereotype was not necessarily correct it opened they eyes o the richer people and had an impact n the poorer people of the country. They had a much better life after the war. Source H is a mixed review of evacuation by Jean McCulloch. She is trying to teach people that the stereotype of what evacuated children were like is unfair.
It depended where you were from to what type of evacuation experience you had. She tells us that she was not a poor evacuee who had nothing and moved to a very rich place. It is obvious that she wants people to know that although she was evacuated she was not diseased and dirty. It may be true that she didn’t fit into the stereotype but if she did she will not want people to know this. The only way for her to let people know this is to speak out. Therefore she may just be trying to stop the reputation that she has from falling when people hear about what she was like.
Jean is explaining to us that everyone who was involved in evacuation had a culture shock in some way whether it was good or bad. There were some people who spoke about how had their experiences were including a young girl called Betty Taylor (taken from a web page) who said that she had come from a modern house and going to a less developed house was not a very nice time for her and she got very homesick. Source I is a negative experience with no motive for what they are saying. The extract is taken from a school textbook that was published in 1993. This tells you a lot about the source, with the main thing being that it will be truthful.
The source has been written to tell children the truth about evacuation. The reason for textbooks being produced is for them to provide real information about evacuation. There may be a slight difference between what the textbook says and what really happened because the textbook was produced for children. The information would have been changed so that younger children could understand what was being said. The extract says “vast majority of children were from poor areas… ‘. This is where information may have been simplified. If it was produced for adults it may have been more detailed with figures.
This phrase is fair to say because it says that it is most people that came from the poor areas. It would be unfair if it said that it was everyone who came from the poor areas. I think that there were so many experiences of evacuation because there is no-one who has the same upbringing or home life. If this is the case then it doesn’t matter which house they move to because they will be experiencing a different change to their friends. Even brothers and sisters will have different experiences because the way that their parents treat each of them is different.
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