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How are we made aware of the patrols attitudes towards the Japanese prisoner In act 1 of 'The Long, The Short and the Tall?

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Introduction

How are we made aware of the patrols attitudes towards the Japanese prisoner In act 1 of 'The Long, The Short and the Tall? We are made aware of the patrol's attitudes in Act one of 'The Long, The Short, and the Tall,' towards the Japanese prisoner from their speech, tone of voice and actions. Johnstone, member of the patrol, shows he has a harsh attitude towards the prisoner. We can see this, as when the prisoner enters the cabin, unaware of the waiting patrol, Johnstone is the first person to grab him. He calls to the others to kill the prisoner as he holds him still. He says 'Get him! Quick! Do for him! Give it hump! Will you just ram it in?' These are very short phrases and are said quickly and in a sharp tone of voice. He also uses allot of colloquial language and never actually says 'kill him.' This emphasises Johnstone's urgency and professionalism, but also shows that he has a hard image. Because Johnstone can say all this it proves to us that he has a harsh attitude towards the Japanese prisoner and just wants him out of the way. He says 'We should have done him when e first turned up.' In other parts of the act Johnstone's attitude stays the same. ...read more.

Middle

When no one can bring themselves to kill the prisoner Bamforth steps up as if it was an everyday event and says 'Its only the same as carving up a pig. Hold him still.' This is a simile and shows us that Bamforth also has no respect for the prisoner but it also shows us that Bamforth is learned of the gang-life in London. This is because of the colloquial language used. He also uses racist language that reflects on the time the play was set. As in the 1940's racism was not an issue. Also soldiers used racist language towards the enemy so as to feel better when killing them. He calls him an 'Asiatic glet'. Johnstone and Mitchem also use this sort of language when they say 'Wog grub' and 'Tojo.' As Mitchem had put Bamforth in charge of the prisoner he began to talk to him. He said 'Get your hands up on your head! Like this! See!' He then speaks to Evans and says 'Hey Taff! See that, he did it like I said!' This shows that he has no respect for the prisoner and sees him as an object or pet almost. Bamforth's attitudes completely turn around though. As he is looking after the prisoner he begins to get friendly with him and talks to him as a mate or one of the lads. ...read more.

Conclusion

It also shows that he may not have the same intentions as Mitchem but still believes the prisoner should be kept. Because the prisoner has been stripped of his arms by the patrol they cannot kill the prisoner. If they were to kill him it would be illegal, murder. Because the patrol have already found out that they are behind enemy lines the prisoner is no longer of any use to them. This links to inter-relationships between the groups of characters in the play. The professional soldiers, with the higher ranks (Mitchem, Macleish and Johnstone) talk about the delicate issues while the others (privates) seem to have a bit of a laugh and mess around while not on duty. The professionals talk about the problem they have with the Japanese soldier. They decide they have to kill him! They discuss this important issue while the other members of the patrol become mates with the prisoner. Mitchem says ' We're ditching him!' What will the prisoners new friends think about this? It is illegal to kill the prisoner as he has become a prisoner of war and has no arms, however he will be a danger and a burden to the patrol! The rest of the patrol hardly show interest in the prisoner, they are interested but forget about it after they are told to carry on with there business. They aren't main characters in this part of the play. Stephen Graham 10E ...read more.

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