During the Blitz, the British life was adversely affected in a way it had never been affected to before. The collective psyche of the country was changed and almost every Briton had to deal with physical changes to their surroundings and landscape.
Everyday life was affected in two main ways, the psychological trauma and the physical effects. Both were as important as the other and affected everyday life in Britain. Firstly, Physically many changes occurred to Britain. During the Blitz, 1,400,000 people were made homeless by bombs hitting their homes. At one point, one in six Londoners were homeless. Despite the physical aspect of this, it also provided the government a huge logistical problem for the government and caused may emotional grievances for the homeless.
Also many Air Raid Shelters that people took refuge in soon became filthy and sanitation soon became a large problem. Especially in the underground where many people stayed together in a small community. The Landscape was also another physical change to everyday life in Britain. After all the bombing soon, many buildings and cities laid devastated by not only the bombing but also the fires which lit the night sky after a night-time raid. Almost nowhere escaped totally unscathed and the bombs scarred the landscape changing the way Britons saw the world.
Other physical aspects included the evacuation of thousands of children from the county’s main cities leaving logistical problems for the government, as many children ended up parentless and homeless. For everyday life, many areas of cities were left without the normal signs of children grouped together playing. Economically many businesses were left stranded as many bosses left for work in the morning to find their offices bombed. Yet, the absenteeism rate remained low as many people were determined to comfort themselves with the maintenance of familiar routines.
The Blitz was widely known as “an attack on the senses” and was psychologically very threatening. Many people had to cope with fear, but not just for their lives, but also for family, friends and others. There was also a large fear of an invasion of Britain, which adversely affected the everyday life in Britain, as almost everybody feared the impending doom that seemed to be heading to Britain. This also caused widespread panic that affected lives as people tried to cope with the panicky attitude many people adopted to the Blitz lifestyle.
During the Night-Time Raids survivors of the Blitz talk about their senses being attacked with sounds, smells and their sight all being challenged with new dimensions to cope with. Everybody was affecting by the bombing of his or her senses and most people responded to it by gradually learning to take the bombing as an unpleasant but unavoidable part of life. Thousands of people suffered from sleep deprivation as bomb after bomb hit their cities.
Many people were psychologically affected by death. 20,000 people were killed and these people were all relatives or friends of somebody. People feared that the bombshell they could hear would kill them. Death affected every person in Britain and had a huge affect on everyday life in Britain. Workers were lost, people mourned and many people had to cope with deaths they had not expected for years to come.
Another psychological affect of the Blitz was the rationing. Many people were negatively affected by this and turned to looting destroyed stores for extra food and items of clothing etc… However not all effects were so negative. Positions in jobs that had never been open to women soon became valuable and women were treated as part of the war effort as well further increasing steps to equality with men.
In conclusion, the Blitz has many myths about what happened to everyday life and the people. The so-called “blitz spirit” became the prominent feature of the Blitz but truly many people instead of banding together in singsong gritted their teeth and just tried to live through the day. In addition, many logistical reasons threatened the government such as lack of burial spaces, lack of coffins, orphaned children. The Blitz affected every person either psychologically or mentally in his or her everyday life.