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The Long and The Short and the Tall.

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The Long and The Short and the Tall "The Long and the Short and the Tall" is an emotional tale about a British Patrol of seven, which is cut off from its base camp by the advancing threat of the Japanese. It takes place during 1942 and is set in the Malayan jungle. Throughout the play the different characters have to confront the hardships of war and ask themselves questions like, can they kill another human being? And are the enemy really any different to us? At first we see each character has their own distinct, special personality, the typical Scotsman, Welshman and Cockney. However, as the play continues we see that they do not fit so easily into a specific group. There is more too them than their exteriors lead you to believe. The sergeant in charge of the platoon is Mithchem. ...read more.


He is a character with no feeling and doesn't possess any of the individual personalities that the other men do. Although he likes to think he is important, he doesn't have half the skill needed to be in charge that Macleish has. We see this when he loses his temper with the Japanese hostage and rips up his photos. The tension rises yet again when they hear Japanese voices over the radio. "Johnee! ... Johnee! ... British Johnee! We - you - come - to - get" The most important part of the play, however, was when they captured a lone Japanese soldier. However, this just seemed to create more problems and harsh decisions for them. Macleish, at first, was the person who managed to persuade everyone not to kill the Japanese soldier. After all, he is a human being just like the rest of us. ...read more.


This builds up into a big argument amongst the patrol. What should be done with him? The Japanese soldier advanced towards Whitaker begging for his life. Eventually after a big argument, the scared Private Whitaker kills the Japanese soldier. This shows that even the very enemy you are trying to kill can become your friend if you become close. After all, he is just another human being right? It is very ironic that it is Whitaker who is the one that ends up killing the soldier. This is because throughout the play we see him as the quietest, gentlest member of the patrol. He is the kind of person that doesn't want to upset anyone. In conclusion I would say that this is a very successful play in delivering the real messages of war that we perhaps don't always think about. It shows how both sides can be exactly the same, even if they're fighting for completely different things; a human being is a human being. Stephen Bishop - 1 - 23/2/2002 Words: 796 ...read more.

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  1. The long and the short and the tall

    This is why the audience can have very few sympathies with him. In this phase of the play, we also see Bamforth as being intelligent and having a depth of knowledge of the rules of the army; He uses this knowledge to his advantage over other members of the patrol.

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

    him; proof of this is when he says, 'He's almost human this one' Indicating that the Japanese man is growing on Bamforth which shows that he has a good side of his character.

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

    between the prisoner and Johnstone and Macleish, who both want to kill the prisoner. He tries to get the other men on his side and asks Smith to help him. Smith tells him to leave him out of it and that he takes orders and simply plods on.

  2. The Long and the Short and the Tall Assignment

    He portrays Bamforth as the lazy, scruffy character who does not care what others think of him, whereas at the other end of the scale there is Whitaker, a young and timid character who always tries to get in authority's good books by always following orders and preparing for kit inspections.

  1. The Long and the Short and the Tall.

    Only good for digging coal and singing hymns, you crummy lot." This helps to reveal the theme of war because individuals do not usually mock people unnecessarily and due to the isolated situation he is in Bamforth may be resorting to this to hide his own fear, or even for want of something better to do.

  2. “The Long and the Short and the Tall” is a play that raises important, ...

    Smith is only in his current situation because of conscription. Private Whittaker is probably the worst suited person to be in the patrols current situation. He has had very little training as have most of the soldiers in the patrol, and he has only just made the age of having to do conscription.

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