• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

“The Long and the Short and the Tall” is a play that raises important, difficult questions about individual behaviour in Wartime.

Extracts from this document...


"The Long and the Short and the Tall" By Willis Hall Exam Brief: "The Long and the Short and the Tall" is a play that raises important, difficult questions about individual behaviour in Wartime. Such themes should be Universal in nature. Does this mean the play can be adapted to be set during any War such as the current 'situation in Afghanistan'? Discuss. "The Long and the Short and the Tall" Is a play about moral dilemma during War. It raises disturbing questions and yet offers no answers. It is set during World War 2 in 1942. A small patrol of British soldiers is sent form their base; north of Singapore, on a reconnaissance mission to investigate the movements and strength of the Japanese opposition. The 'deserted store' is of vital importance to the play as it is the set for all of the action of the play. The set creates an atmosphere, which allows different attitudes and the different characters to develop. The play allows you to peer into the relationships between the characters and watch how conflict arises and how their attitudes and their personalities change and develop. There are 8 characters whose personalities we see develop and change, they are; Sergeant Mitchem, he is in charge of the patrol, he is a fully trained and capable soldier. He is a natural leader and has obvious authority over the patrol. Corporal Johnstone is second in charge and is quick to show his authority above the other members of the patrol. He doesn't have the same sort of leadership qualities that Mitchem has. ...read more.


I think he sees the other members of the patrol gradually seeing the Japanese soldier as a human being. The attitude of Johnstone toward the Japanese soldier was that of a racialist. He had no respect at all for the Japanese soldier and treated him and spoke to and about him as if he wasn't even a human being. "It's a bloody Nip." Mitchem doesn't really have an attitude with anyone, except Bamforth and the Japanese soldier. He treated everyone as a member of the team with the exception of Bamforth who didn't really want to be a member of the team. He treats Bamforth the same way as Bamforth treats everyone else within the store. He adapts Bamforth's sarcastic remarks and uses them on him. "I've seen men who'd make a breakfast out of muck like you go in the nick and do their time and come back so that butter wouldn't melt between their crutch. Don't try and come the hardcase stuff with me, son. It doesn't work." This is one of the ways in which Mitchem shows his authority and helps restore order within the ranks. With the Japanese soldier Mitchem has a very racist attitude toward him as it becomes clear the Japanese army are in the close vicinity. He suddenly goes from not wanting to have to kill him to having to make the decision about who he has to put first, the patrol or the Japanese soldier. "It's a war. Its something in a uniform and it's a different shade to mine." "As far as I'm concerned, it's all these lads or him." ...read more.


I think that Willis Hall has thought very carefully about where and how the audience view this play and has therefore decided that the best way for the audience to view the play he wants it to be viewed is to be so prescriptive so that things and people are where he wants them to be when he wants them to be there. Because the play is designed to be set on a proscenium arch stage this makes his job of prescription quite difficult, as there are no ways that the actors can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think it helps an actor knowing so well where they have to be and when, it also helps the audience to view the drama as the shape of the stage creates the image of looking into a box, looking in on a microcosm. If one of the characters was changed from a male to a female, I think that the atmosphere within the confined space would change dramatically. Within the confines 'store' during the original play, there are lots of conflicting attitudes. I think that the introduction of a woman into the play would create an almost mother figure for the rest of the patrol. I think that she would do a better job at controlling Bamforth than Mitchem does and I think that there would be a lot less of the sexist remarks. With all of the testosterone flying around within the original play, I think this causes characters to think that they are greatly superior to other characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Reeves Centre Number: 33457 Reddish Vale Technology College Matthew Reeves 10BS - Miss Huntington Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. The play 'The Long, The Short and the Tall', is set in the Malayan ...

    Japanese soldier, he is ordered to kill him, he is ready to kill him saying, 'It's only the same as carving up a pig' This again shows that he is racist because he compares a man to a pig saying that they are both the same and that they should be killed.

  2. The long and the short and the tall

    Next, when Macleish and Smith try to settle the situation, Bamforth starts to lose his temper and makes the problem worse. He uses insults like, 'you Scotch haggis...toe-rag' which suggest that he does not care about building a relationship with the patrol and has no respect for them.

  1. What is the Significance of the prisoner in'The Long The Short and The Tall?" ...

    Sergeant Mitchem orders Bamforth to stay with the prisoner, keeping an eye on him so that he doesn't escape. His relationship with the prisoner changes after he is offered a cigarette by him and is shown pictures of his wife and kids.

  2. Discuss the role of the character Bamforth and how he changes in the play ...

    The patrol is nauseated by his existence and behavior and asks Bamforth to "jack it in". Bamforth's character is made known to us when Mitchem talks to him.

  1. Discuss the ways in which Willis Hall conveys the effects of war in 'The ...

    "One murmur, Jap, and laughing boy here will slit your guts up to your ears" This shows how scared they would have been to kill a man as Whitaker is at the end where her kills the Japanese man because he stood up.

  2. The Long and the Short and the Tall Assignment

    Smith tends to keep to himself and does not to get involved in any arguments or disputes with anyone in the rest of the patrol. Johnstone is a very good and productive soldier; the other men tend to dislike him because he is a natural bully who likes to push

  1. The Long and The Short and the Tall.

    The reason for the fight is due to the extreme pressure and strain they under Then there is Bamforth. He is the lazy, troublemaker of the group. He really doesn't want to be out here in the Malayan jungle risking life and limb, although given the choice neither would any of the men.

  2. The Long and the Short and the Tall.

    However, here Hall is conveying the idea that war affects everything, and that the soldiers are in a very isolated, claustrophobic place. Being confined to a small hut in the jungle makes the soldiers feel tense and causes their emotions to be magnified and brought out on each other, resulting in their arguing and mocking.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work