Tuesday, 7 December 2010

How is Regional Identity represented in 'The Rotters Club'

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As we are introduced to the narrative the first shot is a close-up of a plate of food. The food is what you would describe as typical 'pub food'; steak and chips, a signifier that shows the characters are lower class.  We also see that two of the men are drinking beer from a tankard with their meal, again a symbol of their lower class, especially when we compare that the two Southerners are drinking glasses of wine, which is considered much more sophisticated. As the narrative progresses, we begin to understand that the men all work for the same company, with the North 'side' representing the workers, symbolic of the stereotype that the north are more working class.  As one of the managers announces each role there is a close up of what we could determine to be the most stereotypical of each region, so we are clear as to who is who. If we compare the way the managers and workers argue there point, we see a difference in their language and the way in which they put there point across. The first example we see is the manager, a representation of a southerner; he keeps his voice very controlled, with a calm manner and he uses the very formal phrase of 'paranoid mentality' to argue Roy's point. If we compare this to the northerner arguing a point, we see much more aggressive, 'brutish' attitude and colloquial language such as 'well bollocks to that' which reflects the stereotype of northerners being argumentative and the way they don't use 'proper' English. 
We see this colloquial language again as well another typical Northern male trait; being sexist and inappropriate towards women.  This is shown as we see the man speak to the waitress. Firstly, he calls her 'Bab' which is reflective of their slang words, but then he goes on to say ' Not that you're not saucy enough yourself' which could be seen as inappropriate and rude, yet none of the men, pass comment; showing how we have come to accept northerners to behave in this way; or alternatively it could reflect hoe un-argumentative Southerners are, as they dislike confrontations and like things to run smoothly. 
We see this towards the end of the narrative when one of the northern men explain that the southerners son is called 'Bent Rotter' instead of 'Benjamin Trotter' at school by his friends. Instead of re acting or defending his son from the insult, the man simply acknowledges that he was unaware of this and continues as he was, avoiding confrontation. 
We see another part of the Northern Stereotype that we previously saw in  the sketch about four Yorkshire men; the way they are proud to be worse off than others. This comes to light when one of the northern men find out that the other is sending his son the same school as the southern man. Describing the school the northerner calls it 'that poncy toff's academy' showing his resentment for any sort of academic achievements, and describing what most would class as a good thing in a negative light. 
We see the setting is a restaurant and judging from the decor it isn't a high class one, but more likely in the North. It is slightly dated looking, reflective of the stubborn ways of the North and there refusal to change. We can infer from this that although the managers are meeting with the workers to become equal, meeting them at a lower class place than what we assume they are used to suggests they could be embarrassed of their northern counterparts. 
We can also see that while the southerners are comfortable in their suits, the northerners have a more informal appearance; even though they are wearing suits, they don't fit quite right and we can infer that they aren't their usual attire. 
The sound is all diegetic to create a realistic atmosphere, possibly to symbolically represent that the North, South divide is real, if a bit exaggerated in this narrative. 

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