The Presentation of War in the Play The Long, the Tall and the Short Essay

The Presentation of War in the Play The Long, the Tall and the Short Essay

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The Presentation of War in the Play The Long, the Tall and the Short


Willis Hall was a man who caught the tail end of a ferocious war. He
used his knowledge of northern life from Leeds to represent realistic
people in an all too realistic war. Even though he never participated
in World War II, he went on post-military service, with war-hardened
officers, telling of tales of death and destruction. It's these two
details of realistic people and harsh representations of a bloody war,
combined with his ear for language and eye for natural human behaviour
which enabled him to portray a dramatically yet accurate
representation of human hopes and fears strained to their limits in a
devastating war.

The play is about human survival stretched to its limits. Seven men
who are thrown into the centre of a war filled Malaysian jungle find
refuge in a hut. Two are war hardened veterans while the others are
inexperienced to the cruel reality of war. Their only contact with the
outside world is a fading radio transmitter. The realness of their
situation doesn't first sink in and they banter along contentedly. But
when they capture one of the enemies, tempers are flared,
relationships are built and crumble, authority is questioned and
accusations fly to form a disturbing climax.

All characters are designed to contrast each other. They are all
regional stereotypes so the audience already know what to expect from
some of the characters; regional hostility towards each other. There
are also the hierarchical stereotypes; the aggressive leader, the
simple soldiers, the soldier given authority, caught between his
comrades and his responsibiliti...


... middle of paper ...


...sensibility of the military and the proper
treatment of POWs (at that time through the Geneva Convention). It
also deals with human compassion, and how the human heart can change
in a short period of time when faced near their probable doom.

The play is a well-structured piece, graphically telling a tale of
human spirit faced with impending doom in a war torn environment. It
gives a rounded version of war, trying not to be biased. It portrays
characters that everyone can relate to or understand, with each
character representing a piece of humanity within everyone. Its unique
grip of language makes it practically universal to all. Its shifting
pace adds to the fast paced drama. An overall action-packed, drama
filled, suspense laden epic which makes you ponder on the way that war
is glorified in our modern day society.

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