Shaun Field

Shaun Field

    This is England
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in tumultuous times. England in the 1980s is utterly divided. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the miners’ strike, the Falklands War, and the economic crisis provided the background to Shaun’s youth. Now sub-cultures are the name of the game in England – the skinheads, mods, and New Romantics, to name a few.

Living… with his mother in a small town in the Midlands. Shaun’s father was a casualty in the Falklands War. In his words, “I just don’t like people speaking about my dad, even in a nice way. I don’t even like people speaking about the war.”

Profession… student. Shaun, at age 12, has to face bullies at the local school. Luckily, he’s found a friend in the older, charismatic Woody, a skinhead. Woody and his friends decide to befriend Shaun and protect him from the cruel bullies.

Interests… now that he’s in with the skinheads, Shaun has taken to listening to ska music and wearing Doc Martens.

Challenge… figuring out where his loyalties lie. Shaun’s relatively uncomplicated friendship with Woody reaches a turning point when Combo, an older skinhead, returns from jail and confronts the group with his newfound political beliefs. While Woody and his mates just want to listen to music and have a good time, Combo seems to have adopted racist views. Shaun, who is in need of a father figure, doesn’t know whether to follow Woody or Combo.

Personality… confused, young, and highly impressionable. Shaun just wants to be accepted, to feel like he belongs to a group. Combo’s hate-filled racist rants have had a large influence on the impressionable Shaun. Combo will stand up for Shaun, but what else does he stand for? And what will Shaun stand for?


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