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Empire of the Sun: Basie Character Analysis

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Basie's Main Characteristics Throughout the film, viewers can see that Basie has strong leader qualities that allow him to get what he wants at all times. Firstly, Basie is over beyond confident which shows that he has amazing strength and leadership qualities. For example, when they suddenly encountered the Japanese, and Basie had to fight for his life, he quickly passed his precious aviator glasses to Jamie and confidently said, "I want those back when I'm done." This shows how confident he is and how much he believes in himself. This definitely falls into the leadership category because confidence is one of the major qualities needed to become a leader (well, usually this is how people are). ...read more.


Through all his actions, Basie shows his gifted intelligent and shrewd qualities and characteristics. Viewers can see that Basie's level of education is very high. Firstly, when Jamie devours his food, Basie advises him and says," Chew your food six times Jim, get the full benefit." This definitely shows his high level of education and intelligence because this involves a bit of science where when you chew your food six times, your stomach is able to digest easier and faster. Secondly, when he lets Jamie drink his boiled water instead of the filthy water that's available. This also shows a high level of awareness, and intelligent because water from the metal bowl has dangerous diseases. It also shows that he's very intelligent when he boils water, because boiling water prevents disease. ...read more.


Secondly, the exchange of the coin back and forth, from Jamie to Basie shows that he's a business man who is obviously constantly trying to find a way to survive. This shows that his way of life is business where his only thoughts are, what am I going to benefit from you? So with Basie it's always about give and take, and survival. Secondly, when Basie commendably says to Jamie, "Bow to the sergeant," this shows survival, planning, and manipulation. Bowing to the sergeant makes the sergeant happy and he might not treat Jamie as bad as he would usually treat him. Survival and manipulation can sometimes be a part in business so this fits in perfectly. Basie shows uncountable business and survival qualities that make scenes more interesting for viewers to watch. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mena ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

On the whole this is a fairly accurate analysis of Basie's character, but the author is a lot more generous to him than either the book or the film, and the overall assessment is technically "wrong" because it suggests that he is a likeable character when he clearly is not: Both the book and the film show that Jim is "ambivalent" about Basie, which means that he never really likes or trusts him, and for very good reason - he knows that Basie would sell him out in a second if it meant his own survival or profit!!!

The essay needs a decent conclusion, an extra paragraph that weighs up his good and bad qualities and shows a understanding that he's a problematic character, that he has good points and bad points, and that both Spielberg and Ballard want to leave the audience with mixed feelings about him. On the one hand, he is quite admirable because of his intelligence and knack for survival; on the other hand, he's a horrid rat of a man, who would sell his own grandmother if there was a decent profit in it...

I think that the story is trying to show us how war can destroy a man's soul in many ways. The cold-hearted opportunist who actually profits from other people's suffering is one way of illustrating this.

Current grade: Because the essay doesn't even mention the name of the film, it would get an automatic fail. If not for this, it might get 2 stars for its not-quite-accurate analysis of Basie's character.

Marked by teacher Govinda Dickman 07/08/2013

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