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20th Century Drama - The long and the short and the tall.

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Introduction

GCSE English Literature Assignment - 20th Century Drama The long and the short and the tall In 1942, a small British platoon was positioned in the jungle trying to assess the strength of the Japanese invasion. They were 20 miles away from the British frontlines and 15 miles away from base camp. They rest for a while in a deserted hut. Their radio has a flat battery and they are having trouble getting in touch with their base camp. The platoon is led by Sergeant Mitchem, who is in control of 6 ordinary men; hence the title from Britain; Bamforth; a Cockney, Whitaker; Tynesider, Macleish; a Scot, Evan; Welsh, Smith (Smudge) and Johnstone. All had left their jobs back in Britain to fight in the war. All had never been faced with killing a man. A few of the soldiers are family men, leaving their wife, children and friends back in their home towns. They are all from Britain and as they spend time together they find out and understand about each person's personality more. Bamforth: When Bamforth first sees the Japanese soldier, he is prepared to shoot him: 'Bamforth suddenly tenses and raises his rifle. This is followed by: 'Bamforth slowly raises his rifle and takes careful aim. Mitchem swings round and knocks the rifle out of position.' "I had him right between the cheeks! I couldn't miss! He's on his tod!" Bamforth was obviously prepared to kill the lone Japanese soldier and was quite frustrated when his chance is taken from him. ...read more.

Middle

"I swapped some things for them. In the N.A.A.F.I down the U.J club. I swapped them for some stuff I had myself - with some bloke I met who'd come down from up country." "That's all I want to know." "It's not a crime." "No, no, it's not a crime. It's not a crime to have a fag case either. "You'd better give them him back." Bamforth would be feeling quite smug at his success, head high and a smirk on his face. Bamforth had successfully produced an argument which convinced Macleish that it wasn't that important. This then triggers Mitchem and Johnston to feel the same, the rest of the platoon then follow suit. The defence conveyd the prisoner as innocent. Later on, soon before they plan to leave, Bamforth 'having taken a swig from his water bottle, wipes the lid and offers the bottle to the prisoner.' "Come on, Tojo son. Get a gob of this before we go." Mitcham disagrees "The bloke's has got to drink." "He's had a drink - earlier on this afternoon." He's not a camel." Bamforth uses the word 'bloke' now as he considers the prisoner as a real man, someone he would befriend with. He has now formed a strong bond between him and the prisoner. "He'll have to have a drink sometime. We're taking him as well." "I'm sorry." "No." He once more, stands in between the prisoner and Johnstone as Johnstone goes to kill the prisoner. ...read more.

Conclusion

And "There must be something else." However later on, he discovers that the prisoner has some British issue cigarettes: "If there's one thing gets my hump it's knocking off - it's looting." Mitchem said. "I'll ram it down his rotten throats! I'll make him eat the rotten thing!" As soon as he figures out that the prisoner has looted, he immediately knows that it must be looting from a dead body. So therefore there is a very high chance that his brother is dead. He would be very bitter and aggressive, sneering at the prisoner. "I'll kill him" He then 'jerks him savagely to his feet' and then empties the prisoner's pockets. Following this he throws the contents of his pockets to the floor and rips up the photographs of his wife and kids. He then strikes the prisoner across the face. He would act this extremely furiously. Later on he regrets his treatment of the prisoner. Then he decides not to take part in any further events which involve the prisoner. "Who's next for stag?" "Me for one." He must be feeling quite upset and must be thinking of his brother, so he needs time to think about it. Macleish's attitude towards the Japanese soldier changes. Initially Macleish defends the soldier but soon changes side when he finds out that the prisoner has British issue cigarettes and a cigarette case. However towards the very end, he gradually adopts a neutral attitude and does not care for the prisoner. This is when he decides to go on guard so that he can think about his brother, Donald. ?? ?? ?? ?? Adam Kennedy 10SN ...read more.

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