Wednesday, March 19, 2008
A huge thank you to whoever suggested I watch this wonderful program. The only other program in the 'House' series I'd previously seen was 1900s House, and though I liked it very much, my main recollection of it is of the mother of the family whining quite a bit about housework. I wasn't sure I wanted to see the 1940s version of this, but I'm so glad I did. I've written previously about wanting to really know about the effects of WW2 on Britain and how the war affected it's people - 1940s House is exactly what I was looking for.
In the 1940s house, the present day family arrives and gets to know their surroundings and how to cope with old ways of doing things. Soon, they are plunged headfirst into war life. I loved listening to the narrator speak about facts and statistics - one that has stuck with me was learning how many pets were put down in the first days of the war due to noise and expected food shortages. I loved watching the historians and experts meet in the Cabinet War Rooms and discuss the effect the war had on families, the expectations of families, and how the family would next be tested. I loved hearing the original BBC broadcasts of the news and the newspapers.
I feel as though I now understand the story behind the story of so many books I have read, and so many that I will read in the future. I have a better understanding of this period of time and of what people really dealt with. I enjoyed the journey of this family as well. They especially struggle with rationing and hunger. It is fascinating to see the women go out and 'do their part' for the war. At times, they were discouraged and seemed to have taken on too much, but time and time again, they rose to the challenge as people really would have done. I enjoyed seeing the footage of the lives 6 months after the project ended. Not to give anything away, but I loved when one of the children said something to the effect of "Granny used to be a cool Granny - now she's gone bonkers." Not only does the program have great entertainment value, I think it would be a useful teaching tool for young people. Some many of us don't understand what went on and why people are the way they are after what they went through. My only complaint is that I wished the program were longer than 3 hours. I could have watched at least a couple more.