Boekverslag : Sue Townsend - The Queen And I
De taal ervan is Nederlands en het aantal woorden bedraagt 1170 woorden.
The story begins with the Queen watching a program on the elections that find place tomorrow. She is asking herself what would happen if the Republicans were to win the elections by a landslide. It would be her worst nightmare. She went to bed and felt asleep.
Because of a change in government, the Royal Family must now live like ordinary citizens. They soon find themselves stripped of wealth, titles, power and the life of leisure. They are forced into life as that of a down and out family, living in a council house -two bedrooms, one bad- with no staff or servants of any kind and on social assistance. Now each will be addressed by their given names rather than by title. Formerly Her Majesty the Queen, now Mrs. Liz Windsor is a housewife unable to deal with a seriously depressed husband who rarely leaves his bed and children who despite lives of privilege, have still failed to find their own ways in life. Mrs. Windsor is thus one again forced into the position of head of the household. At first she is quite incapable of performing the simplest tasks. Charles is the only one who is delighted since he will never have to be King. Happily, they get many help from their neighbours.
At the end of the book, Jack Barker, the leader of the Republicans, gives a speech. He announced that he signed a document. The other signer was his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Akihito of Japan. As from that day on England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had entered into a Treaty of Friendship with Japan.
The Queen woke with a start. She was drenched in sweat. She found the remote control and turned the television on. The Conservatives had won the election. It was all just a nightmare.
The themes of the book are the difference between the rich and the poor and the fiction of the story. Queen Elizabeth has lived her whole life in Buckingham Palace, where she had everything she wants: a lot of money, servants who did all the work, etc. She did not have to do anything by herself. Now she is forced into the position of head of the household. She has to find her own way in life.
The queen and I is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination.
Background of the story
The election between the Republicans and the Conservatives and what would happen to the Queen and her family if the Republican Government were to be elected.
The differences between the Rich and the poor, the way they live, think, etc… .
The class difference in words and conversation, the Queen’s accent which is so strong that her neighbours think that she is speaking a different language.
The Queen and her family can’t cope with this new stress situation. They are not used to live so poor. They get social assistance to help them with there new life but still they fail to find there own way in life.
She has a strong personality. She doesn’t give up and is always optimistic. She thinks that one day she and her family will get back to Buckingham Palace. She must run the household but when she does that she a bit clumsy. She doesn’t know how to open the front door, how to tie her shoes, how to get some money, how to open a tin of food, etc.
He is weak, depressed and very pessimistic. He hates the house and want to get back to Buckingham Palace. He is bedridden and doesn’t want to do anything. He has also lost his mind; he doesn’t know what he is saying.
He takes always the lead because he is the leader of the Republicans. He enjoys his power. He has a very bad character because he does everything against the Royal Family. He wants to be popular and he always tries to do good things for his people.
Charles is in love with one of his neighbours, Beverly Threadgold. He has to go in prison but he hasn’t do anything wrong. He only takes care for his garden and not for his wife and children. He enjoys his poor life because he never has to be King.
Overall Judgement: Personal Opinion
We sometimes think that Townsend has the ability to take the most everyday of situations and mundane people and put them in witty, funny difficulties. She does a marvellous job capturing each of the royals’ personalities and how they might react to existing in such a manner. She observes all the absurdities in the daily lives of all humans, rich poor and even royal. Using the Royal Family as a metaphor for a country whose fortunes have fallen, Townsend is portraying quite accurately on how people take it when they wake up one morning to find they have lost everything. Some enjoy the new lifestyle, some curl up and die, some simply survive. She has a brilliant way of giving life to her characters, whether they are actual persons or her own creations.
One of the funniest characters is the Royal Dog, Harris. His attempt to run with the local pack is priceless!
Townsend is also very distinct and familiar with her own words. The used vocabulary is very easy to understand.
Ridiculing all it surveys, this quick escapist novel is intelligent and highly enjoyable.
This is a work of satire that is so hilarious, so thoughtful and so original.
Writer Sue Townsend was born in Leicester in 1946. She was the daughter of a ticket-collector. When she was 15 she left school and with no qualifications she worked as a petrol pump attendant. After her divorce she did a lot of social work and she began writing for the theatre, where she has proved herself to be one of the most loved writers of the last 20 years.
In 1982 she published “The secret diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾”. This book became one of the biggest successes of the British book industry. The painfully earnest notes of the spotty Leicester schoolboy won her fans around the world, with Mole’s personal outpourings delighting readers in countries including Sweden, Finland and Japan. She sold more than 7 million copies of the book. The best-selling diary was turned into a play which stormed the West End of London, and then a hit TV show.
After a year, the book was succeed by “The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole” and “Adrian Mole, the wilderness years”. Beside these books Sue Townsend wrote two novels: “Rebuilding Coventry” in 1988 and “The Queen and I” in 1992. Both novels were humoristic and very critical on society. In “The Queen and I” the author dumped the Royal Family on a gritty Leicester council estate and left them to fend for themselves. This wasn’t appreciated by everyone.
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