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Discuss the ways in which Willis Hall conveys the effects of war in 'The long and the short and the tall.'

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Discuss the ways in which Willis Hall conveys the effects of war in 'The long and the short and the tall.' Willis Hall was born in Leeds in 1929 and he grew up there learning about the North Country working class life. He first wrote the play 'The long and the short and the tall' in 1952 it was his third play that he released, before he wrote plays he wrote fro newspapers/magazines etc. 'The Long and the Short and the Tall' was then published in London in 1953. He wrote his plays to slowly reveal emotions and characteristics of all of the characters that he wrote about. Willis Hall based this play on a true event, the British invasion on Japan. This play is about seven men in the army on a routine patrol in the forest on a Japanese island, most of these men have no experience in war and just want to go home, but they end up staying in a abandoned house in the woods where they stay for the rest of the day, this eventually leads to arguments and side taking within the group this is also more interfered with by a Japanese man who walks in and is taken as a prisoner of war by the British patrol. You can tell that Willis Hall knew a lot about the army and the language they use because he uses a lot of the words that they would have used such as 'Sten' and 'bint'. ...read more.


Just opening tins of soup?" And is taunted by the others to do it. "Come on, lad! Don't stand there tossing up the odds! Just close your eyes and whoof it in!" Towards the end of the play this changes he wants to save the Japanese soldier, he feels sorry for him and puts himself between him and the others when they find the British cigarettes on him. "What's up? What's he done to deserve that?" He then stands between the Jap and the soldiers to protect him because he feels that he should, he tries to get the others to stand with him, when he asks Smith he says: "I just take orders, I just plod on." That's also why he gave him a cigarette because he felt he needed one when he looks at him getting a cigarette out for himself. Johnno thinks that all of the Japanese soldiers are the same; he shows this by hitting the cigarette out of the Jap's hand because he thinks that they should kill him. Johnno rips up the soldiers photos to completely destroy his moral, he does this because he thinks that he was looting from British soldiers on the front lines, he also thinks that all of the japs are exactly the same and they should all be killed same as they're doing to the British, in the play. ...read more.


I mean, it spoils it otherwise they say." This shows the complete boredom that the patrol must have been so they passed the time by asking questions about people, Whitaker was an easy target since he was scared of the others and the war. They also sung to try and keep their moral up and pass the time. At the end when Johnstone re-enters the hut wounded and hears the radio with Red leader talking on it when he could have warned them about the Japanese he just says: "Get knotted! All of you! You hear? The whole damn lot of you!" This is showing that he really doesn't care anymore and then he takes a cigarette from the dead Japanese man even though before he says that he would never smoke one so he is being a hypocrite. Willis Hall makes the tension increase towards the end of the play to build up suspense for the shooting at the end. This makes the audience on the edge of their seats waiting for it then when it happens they think that it should be better for the soldiers and that they should have had a better life in the war fighting for their country. So all throughout the play Willis Hall conveys the effects of war by using tension, teaming up, and Japanese soldier, bullying and bringing their homes back into the play. These cause conflicts and rivalries between the British soldiers causing the tension to increase and making the play more exciting and believable to the audience. ...read more.

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