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The Long the Short and the Tall.

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Introduction

The Long the Short and the Tall The Long the Short and the Tall was written by Willis Hall in 1958. The story is set in a dingy hut in the Malayan jungle during the Second World War. In 1941 Japan attacked the United States naval base pearl harbour and the story is based around a group of British soldiers who were sent off to fight in the conflict that ensued after the attack. In the play we see the stereotypical types of British characters, a Scotsman, Welshman, Tynesider and a Cockney. The characters are: Bamforth- A very domineering character who is cruel and teasing of the other soldiers and rude to those with a higher rank. He comes from a background in the slums of London. Mitchem- Mitchem is the highest ranking soldier and stops the constant quarrels between Johnstonne and Bamforth. ...read more.

Middle

First impressions of Bamforth show that he is a very dominant and argumentative character and it appears he would use any excuse for a fight. Bamforth is seen as a cocky and arrogant character especially when they capture the Japanese prisoner, Bamforth was the only person who would have had the nerve to kill the prisoner. There's a quote in the text which refers to this, Mitchem says, "You make so much as a mutter and I'll let Jack the ripper have a go at you." Bamforth also found it very amusing to treat the prisoner like an animal. He belittles him saying, "flingers on blonce." This refers to the prisoner being Japanese and makes fun of the way speaks. At the time the play was written this would have been found funny as it was shortly after the conflict with Japan, but in this day and age it would be frowned upon and people would find it an offensive and racist remark. ...read more.

Conclusion

A huge scuffle ensues before Bamforth steps in and explains that he gave the prisoner the cigarettes in the first place. During the questioning they ripped up the prisoners family photos and Bamforth gets quite annoyed at this saying, "You couldn't even leave him with his pictures could you." A fight then breaks out between Bamforth and Johnstonne. Evans is told to keep his gun trained on the prisoner to stop him from trying anything. The prisoner then stands up to get a better view of what's going on, as he is concerned for Bamforth and Evans shoots the prisoner dead. After this Johnstonne decides they need to leave as the gun fire would have alerted enemy soldiers in the surrounding area. Then, as they leave the hut they are ambushed and all of them die except Johnstonne who makes it back into the hut to radio the base camp for help. ...read more.

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