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The Bridge on the River Kwai

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  • Pages: 3
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  • Category: Bridge

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         Rigidness, determination and sentimentality of one person led to the creation of the Bridge on the River Kwai. At the height of WWII, the British army lost in their war against the Japanese in Thailand. As prisoners of war and a prisoner of the Japanese, hospitality is far from imagination. The need to transport supplies, troops and arms and further expand Japan’s invasion to other British colony, a bridge has to be build but the time was running out. The prisoners of war were needed to the accomplishment of the bridge.

         Nicholson, despite their loss and wrath of the Japanese commander, was rigid in his decision not to subject himself and his men to build the bridge. In the scene where they were ordered by Colonel Saito to build the bridge:

Nicholson: I heard your remarks just now sir. I can assure you, my men will carry on in the way one expects of the British soldier. And naturally, my officers and I will be responsible for their conduct. Now sir, you may have overlooked the fact that the use of officers for manual labor is expressly forbidden by the Geneva Convention.

Saito: Is that so?

Nicholson: I happen to have a copy of the Convention with me and would be glad to let you glance through it if you wish.

         The confrontational struggle between Nicholson and Saito led into the building of the historical bridge on the river Kwai. Though pressured, Nicholson was bold and determined to build the bridge. He dismissed the thought of the possible crime of treason and strengthening the Japanese forces by building them a stronger railway to victory.

Time ran fast but Nicholson never thought of giving up nor asking the Japanese help. His admirable determination has strengthened and uplifted his men’s morale:

Nicholson: We’re not going to finish the bridge on time…We haven’t the manpower, that’s all. I’ve asked the officers to lend a hand and they’ve agreed. But even that won’t do it.

Clipton: You mean the officers are going to work on the bridge?

Nicholson: Yes. I explained the situation to them and they volunteered to a man, but it’s not enough.

Clipton: Why didn’t you ask Saito and some of his men?

Nicholson: Wouldn’t dream of it! No, this is our show. We must make the most of our own resources. As a matter of fact, that’s what I came to talk to you about. The sick list.

Nicholson, honored, was satisfied with the perfect and marvelous structure of the bridge. It has indeed served its purpose, especially to the Japanese in the course of war. The thought of war was overshadowed with the value of the bridge. Nicholson’s sentimentality on the bridge does not only prove the majestic creation and ingenuity of his people and the British as a whole but the value of the bridge in the future. Nicholson valued the bridge for it will remain as evidence of their encounter and in recognition of their heroic deeds.

Nicholson (on Clipton): One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers, Clipton, even in captivity.

Unknowingly, Nicholson was not aware of his sentimentality’s defect because he has almost led the Japanese victory when he blocked the plan of the British army to blast off the bridge and will fully destabilize Japanese forces. However, just in time, Nicholson have realized his mistake. Their British plan was finally fulfilled when Nicholson fall on the dynamite plunger and his beloved bridge and Japanese officials and soldiers blasted into pieces.

Works Cited:

Dirks, Tim. “The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).” http://www.filmsite.org/

Lean, David. “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” 02 October 1957.

“The Bridge on the River Kwai”. <http://us.imdb.com/>

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