The Long and The Short and The Tall

Mitchem sapres the prisoners life as he intends to take the prisoner back to camp with them for interrogation, as shown on page 40, ‘we’re taking this boy back to camp with us’.

Mitchem orders for the prisoner not to be killed as he sees the bigger picture of the war. Mitchem thinks that if he captures a prisoner and brings him back alive this could result in him being merited and information could be revealed about the Japanese which could result in one step forward in the war for the British forces. Mitchem’s decision makes military sense.What Johnstone’s motives are for wanting to kil the prisoner Johnstone wants to kill the prisoner as he feels that the prisoner may either try to escape or call for help, ‘suppose he tries to come it on? One shout from him with any of his boys and we’re in the cart’, as shown on page 43. He also believes that taking the prisoner with the squad may cause them a delay in retreating to camp, possibly resulting in the loss of the squad’s lives, as shown on page 42-43, ‘we’ve go fifteem miles to slog it back.

.. we know tha Japs are coming through – and quick’.

Johnstone basically is thinking about the safety of the squad and is realising that it is more important than the life of an enemy prisoner. He also may be being selfish and possibly cowardly by not taking the risk of taking a prisoner as this could result in his death. This could also be seen as sensible. Why Bamforth becomes friendly with the prisoner Bamforth becomes friendly with the prisoner because the prisoner takes orders from Bamforth. When Bamforth orders the prisoner to put his hands upon his head, he complies.Bamforth feels respected and believes that he has a sense of authority over the prisoner.

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He takes joy in this as he is at the bottom of the rank ladder in the squad. He has no authority over anyone else in the hut. He finally is able to experience what it is like to give orders and for them to be followed. This is shown on page 45, ‘Flingers up on blonce!’. How Willis Hall encourages our sympathy for the prisoner Willis Hall encourages our sympathy for the prisoner by giving him human qualities instead of just portraying him as the enemy.The squad realise after looking at a picture of the prisoner’s wife and children that he is also just a human as well as being the enemy. This is shown on page 45, ‘It’s a picture of a Nippo bint.

.. get this, Nippo snappers, Sarge. Two Jap kids’. The squad, especially Bamforth, begin to feel sympathy towards the prisoner and realises that the prisoner is basically the same as themselves. How the playwright produces dramatic tension as the act comes to a close The playwright produces dramatic tension when the squad first begin to plan their objective and how to achieve it i. e. eturning to camp.

There is a lot of debate about whether to take the prisoner with them or to kill him, mainly between Mitchem and Johnstone. Mitchem’s plan makes military sense. Nevertheless, Johnstone’s counter argument that taking him back will make a difficult journey even more so.

Both arguments are respectable, but the desicion that the prisoner must die so that the patrol survives is the most sensible. Tension rises during this period as there is a lot of argument taking place, shown on page 48, ‘and you think we stand a chance at creeping through a regiment of ruddy Nips!..

.No… we’re ditching him’.

This increases tension as the audience knows form previosly in the play that arguing can lead to a fight between two members of teh patrol e. g. Bamforth and Evans. At the very end of the Act, Whitaker is attempting to make contact with the camp when a Japanese voice is heard, ‘We hear the voice of a Japanese radio operator’. This increases tension as the patrol are very concerned about what the noise was and some of the squad react by being frightened and not knowing what to do, as seen previously in the Act.Finally, the vioce on the radio tells the patrol that the Japanese are coming to find them, as shown on page 40, ‘ We – you – come – to – get’. From this broadcast, Whitaker starts up in total fear but Mitchem pushes him back into his chair.

All eyes are then on the prisoner. The majority of the inexperienced soldiers react by being frightened but the experienced of the patrol i. e. Mitchem still attempt to take control even though there may be a slight feeling of fear. This is when tension is at its peak when the audience feels that the patrol will not be able to handle the situation as they have managed to do previously in the Act.