How are the young people in DNA affected by the crimes they commit? How does Kelly show the ways they are affected? [30 marks] DNA is a contemporary play dealing with the modern issues faced by youths. The group in the play is portrayed as alienated and cut off from society other than their immediate surroundings. Though there is no definite place or time it is clearly contemporary through the speech and references made by other characters. In the play DNA Dennis Kelly shows the different ways that young people are affected by the crimes that they commit.
The first mention of Adams death is notified to us through the short and punchy dialogue of Jan and Mark. Who are used by Kelly to reveal the key information to the audience. When the members of the group are informed about Adams death the primary shock and sheer panic of the news initially bring the group together. We are shown the groups unification through the likes of John Taste’s attempt to leadership. In Act 1 Scene 3 we witness the power of John Tate in the group when he attempts to ban the word “dead”. He says “if anyone says it I’m goanna bite their face off. The phrase “bite their face” suggests a side to John that is violent and almost suggests fear and a sense of desperation because of the fact he would “bite” someone’s face off just because they have said the word “dead”. He asks members of the group is they are “on his side” and the fact Richard and Danny agree does show a sense of unification. However this shows John Taste’s inability to cope with Adams death and his inability to cope with the situation is evidently shown later in the play when he suddenly disappears. Furthermore Kelly shows us the ways young people are affected by the crimes they commit through
Leash’s use of taboo language to provoke a reaction from Phil. Lea and Phil have a relationship that is clearly one-sided as there is a lack of response from Phil during their conversations effectively leaving Lea to speak in monologues. Lea is torn between her self- criticism and her attempt to impress Phil using a number of techniques such as talking about intellectual topics such as “bonbons” or Insulting Phil to provoke a reaction. “You’re not perfect actually Phil.. Do I disgust you? ” After insulting him to provoke a reaction she turns back to asking Phil what she thinks he thinks of her.
Phial’s lack of response could be seen as psychological bullying and shows she is under the leadership of Phil as she is not strong enough to alter the opinions and actions of anyone in the group. However, Lea reveals that her and Phil have actually known Adam a very long time and pleads with him to help Adam, and not harm him. “It’s Adam, Phil, Adam! We used to go to his birthday parties, he used to have that cheap ice cream and we used to take the pips, remember? ” This suggests that Lea feels guilt and remorse for Adam and shows even though she is part of the crime she remains a moral person.
However Kelly shows that Adams death affects young people in different ways and explores this through Richards conversation with Phil in the last scene. We find out “Brain’s on stronger and stronger medication. ” The repetition of the word “stronger” suggests Brian is seriously affected by the crime as he is getting worse as the medication gets “stronger”. The fact that he is “staring at a wall drooling” emphasizes how he is affected and shows that Brian is mentally unstable. Here Dennis Kelly shows how committing a crime can lead to things such as a mental breakdown. We are told John Tate as “found God.. ND joined the Jesus army. ” The phrase “found God” suggests that John Tate was looking for support or even perhaps forgiveness for what he has done as he cannot forgive himself due to the crime he has committed. On the other hand Kelly shows that some young people do not suffer remorse or guilt for the crimes they have committed. He shows this through the likes of Cathy, Jan and Mark. Richard tells Phil “Cathy is insane… She Cut Off a first years finger Off. ” The fact she “cut Off a first years finger off’ suggests Cathy is becoming even more ruthless and aggressive and s able to commit even more violent acts.
Furthermore we are told Jan and Mark have been committing more petty crimes. ‘]an and Mark have taken up shoplifting.. And have got really good at it”. The fact they have “taken up shoplifting” suggests the crime they had committed with Adam has only gone and influenced them to commit more. The phrase “got really good at it” suggests that this is not a one off but is a frequent crime they do. In the play DNA, Dennis Kelly shows that young people are affected by crime differently, some more than others and he explores this through these characters.