Miscarriage Of Justice In Private Peaceful, By Michael Morpurgo

1166 Words 5 Pages
The narrative Private Peaceful, written by Michael Morpurgo, is a World War One novel set in the early 1900s across countryside towns in England, France and Belgium. It follows the story of Thomas ‘Tommo’ Peaceful and his close family. It thoroughly explores their struggles through life in the early 20th century, including World War One. Throughout the story, injustice is a recurring theme before and during the war. This is evident in the class system of the era which treats lower class citizens, such as the Peaceful family, unfairly. Authoritarian army officers treat the characters of the book in brutal ways. The unjust deaths of characters in the narrative are other examples of the miscarriage of justice faced throughout the book. Overall, …show more content…
During the second half of the book, while Charlie and Tommo are at war, is no exception. Leaders misuse their ability to exert power over their underlings and show them that they will not accept bad behaviour. The Peaceful brothers as well as the rest of the company face horrible maltreatment from army officers, specifically Sergeant ‘Horrible’ Hanley who is Charlie’s antithesis. Hanley, as his name suggests, is a horrible man. He is unjust with his punishments and has vendettas against individuals such as Charlie. For example, Charlie “had broken ranks and run at Hanley” after Hanley had unfairly punished Tommo because he did not clean his rifle properly. Charlie was just standing up for his brother, but his consequence was “Field Punishment Number 1,” which was a day long lashing- an unfair penalty for a small altercation. While Hanley thoroughly enjoys punishing Charlie to exert his power, he does not stop at one person. He will happily punish the whole regiment. On one occasion, the soldiers had been victim to a German gas attack. Understandably, they were fearful for their lives, which slowed their ability to act. Sergeant Hanley claimed that they had acted “like a bunch of cowards,” which is in itself an unfair statement. However, what was more unjust was the consequence for their ‘cowardly’ actions. The company faced rigorous “inspections, training, drilling [and] exercising,” “morning, noon and …show more content…
The class system causes the Peaceful family, specifically Big Joe and Charlie to be hurt and blackmailed, authoritarian figures, such as Sergeant Hanley, force people to endure unfair treatments and the brutal army establishment is the cause of Charlie’s unjust death.
By the end of the book, the reader learns that Private Peaceful is a story of injustice because of what occurs to the characters of the book. The writer, Michael Morpurgo’s final message is that injustice can occur to even the best people who do the right

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