Shakespeare – Module 8: Shakespeare’s Influence on Fiction – Daz 4 Zoe – 5 of 6

WHAT: Examine how the modern novel, Daz 4 Zoe is influenced by Shakespeare’s ideas and story-lines

By the end of this study session you will be able to:

✔ Name some similarities between the novel and a Shakespeare play

Today you will need:
✎ A pen
☰ Some paper to write on

YOU DO: 1) Which Shakespearean play is about two teenagers who fall in love even though they are not allowed to be together, but risk their lives to see each other anyway? (Click to reveal the answer)

Romeo and Juliet

Daz 4 Zoe is a young-adult novel by Robert Swindells. It follows the story of a ‘subbie’ (from the suburbs of Silverdale) named Zoe and a ‘chippy’ (from the city of Rawhampton) named Daz.[1] It is a dual dialogue, with parts being written as if by Daz, and parts by Zoe. Daz’s spelling is phonetic with appalling grammar, done by Swindells to show Daz’s low quality of education. This contrasts with Zoe’s more formal style. The novel discusses the microcosm of the ‘chippies’ and the ‘subbies’ in order to discuss the ridge between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in a dystopian future where those living in cities do not have suffrage, and the elite suburb-dewellers control the nation. (Source: Wikipedia)

Tricky words:
– dual dialogue – written using two characters’ perspectives/voices
– bourgeoisie –
the middle class (richer people)
– proletariat –
the working class (poorer people)
– dystopian future –
an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible.
suffrage – the right to vote in political elections.

‘Subbies’ live in the suburbs of Silverdale, a large fictional city. ‘Chippies’ live in the run-down city. The subbie children like to go out ‘chippying’ (visiting nightclubs in Rawhampton). This prompts adverts on TV about the dangers of chippying.[1]
Zoe is friends with Tabitha, the daughter of a very wealthy property developer. She encourages Zoe to go chippying with her, Ned and Larry. Ned drives them to the Blue Moon nightclub, where Daz is as well. In order to leave the suburb, they tell the guard on duty that they are visiting Zoe’s cousin in the next suburb and are made to show their ID cards to the bouncers who guard Silverdale.[1]
Zoe and Daz fall in love when they first set eyes on each other, although, at first, Zoe thinks it may be the ‘lobotomizer’ (coke, rum and ‘a couple of other ingredients’[1]) that she has been drinking.[1]
Larry spots an attractive chippy girl and subtly tries to call her over to him. She smiles out of embarrassment, but he thinks she fancies him. Eventually he shouts out to her loudly, his outburst coinciding with a pause in the music. Her boyfriend picks up a chair and goes over to Larry. A policeman steps between them. The chippy throws the chair, which Larry deflects with his arm. Daz comes over to rescue Zoe, taking Larry by the arm and telling the group to run and save themselves.[1]
When Zoe gets back to Silverdale, she realises that she has fallen in love with Daz and starts pining for him. Her Grandma tells her a story of how she fell in love with Gordon Payne when she was younger, but he never noticed her. She warns Zoe that Subbies and Chippies are not meant to associate.

I DO: Here is an extract from Daz 4 Zoe. What do you think of the way the characters sound/speak?

Extract 1
Daz thay call me. 2 years back wen I com 13 Del that’s my brovver thay
catch in raiding with the Dred. Top in don’t thay, and im just gon 15.
2 lornorders com tel our mam, 1 wumin, 1 man, nor thay don’t come til
after thay dunnit never. Our Mam been down with the dulleye, and she
just sort of stairs don’t she, tilt hay go if, and its not until nite she crys.
She says don’t you never go of wiv no Dred, our Daz. No Mam I sez, but I
never crost my hart. Don’t cownt less you crost yor hart, rite?

Extract 2
Hi. I’m Zoe May Askew. Or Zoe may not. (Joke!) I’m fourteen. My friend
at school is Tabitha. Tabitha Flinders Wentworth for short. She’s
fourteen too. If the name seems familiar to you it’s no big surprise. Her
dad’s Paul Wentworth of Wentworth and Lodge (Developments) PLC, the
outfit that shoved up practically every suburb in England. You’re bound to
have seen their boards, plus their ads on TV. He’s into about a million
other things too, Tabby says. Security. Roads. Power. He’s into power all
right. Chair of the Suburb Selectmen, Chair of Schools Management
Committee, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Dog leaves mess on the
sidewalk, Paul Wentworth’ll make himself Chair of it.
They’re loaded. Well you can imagine. They live in the gorgeous architectdesigned house on Wentworth Drive. That’s right – Wentworth Drive. He
built the place and named it after himself, and why not?
I know what you’re wondering. You’re wondering home come Tabby
Wentworth would bother with a scumbag like me, right? Sure you are.
Well, my dad’s an estate agent, see, and what estate agents do is they sell
houses. You probably thought they sold cheese burgers, but they sell
houses. Wentworth build’s ‘em, Dad sells ‘em. They’re not friends exactly ,
but they do a lot of business together and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t
Well, no as a matter of fact, it’s not.

2) Now that you have read a summary of Daz 4 Zoe, can you make a list of similarities and differences it has with Romeo and Juliet? Think about similarities in:

– themes
– characters
– settings/use of social gatherings

3) Why do you think that the idea of forbidden love due to social divides is still such a relevant idea? Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was written in 1595 and Daz 4 Zoe was published in 1990. So many books, plays and movies are about people who can not be together because their families/society won’t allow them. What aspects of society still create division and unfairness?


Challenge Task: 
Choose one of the following plays: The Tempest / A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Hamlet. How would you adapt the play to appeal to a modern audience? Where would the story take place? How would you change the characters? What time period would you set the play in. 

You could present your work as a powerpoint, a poster or a mind map. Send your work to your English teacher!

This is an ongoing task for you to work on as you go through each session in module 8. The rest of the blog posts in module 8 will help you with ideas for this challenge project.