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

How many mlies to Babylon? - Why does Alec kill Jerry?

Extracts from this document...


ENGLISH COURSEWORK HOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON? - SUE JOHNSTON WHY DOES ALEC KILL JERRY? Alec kills Jerry because of the deep love and friendship that gripped the two of them. However, to understand this deep and in the end heroic love we must examine this on the one hand simple but on the other hand complex and delirious comradeship which sees Alec kill his best and only friend. It was their separate classes that brought them together: one from the Anglo-Irish gentry; the other a peasant. If it were not for Alec's snobbishness and Jerry's pleasant and honest nature the two might never have met. As soon as Alec gives in, goes swimming and fights with him we can see that the two will be inseparable for life. The fact that Alec has never seen a naked boy before seems to point to us that he has never met any other children before. This is probably the case when growing up in the countryside in his social position as his parents, especially his mother, would never have let him play with or be friends with peasants. ...read more.


But because Jerry was the 'forbidden fruit' for Alec it made him all the more 'tasty and tempting'. Johnston's portrayal of their contrasting backgrounds and political views is one that really shows the hardships the boys had to go through with to see each other and it really is a miracle that the two become friends at all. Especially as Jerry is a Shinner (to which when accused by Alec Jerry shouts back 'Keep your bloody mouth shut') and Alec a home ruler there was destined to be conflict in their political views when the two grew up, which was sadly not to be the case. Once the pair have gone off to war yet more boundaries are put in their way as Alec is automatically made a junior officer and Jerry a private in the Army. Their commanding officer Major Glendinning at first tells Alec to "mix" as he is keeping to himself in what the Major sees as just a huge display of class difference and that he sees himself above everyone. ...read more.


the hills which always seem to give both of them a sense of security like the hills surrounding their homes back in Ireland. The point when Alec fires the shot which kills Jerry is a very moving and emotional part of the story. Alec goes and sees Jerry in prison, which he is forbidden to do, and starts talking about home. He then gets Jerry to sing a song. Jerry chooses to sing the song that the fiddler was playing when they were talking about joining up to the army. This song is so maudlin for the both of them as it was being sung when they joined the army and is now being sung when Alec ends Jerry's life. Jerry sings the words 'Now father take me and let me go' to show that the friendship is so great that they know what each one is thinking and that it was best for at least Jerry's interests This shows that Alec was willing to face the firing squad in order to protect his best friend from the fate that is about to happen to him. W. Vaughan 27/04/2007 ...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 Thomas Hardy 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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work