Sample Research Paper on World War Two Issue

World War Two Issue

The railway man is a war film directed by Jonathan Teplitzky; it is an adaptation of best selling autobiography by Erick Lomax and stars like Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine and stellan Skarsgard. It is a British-Australian-made war film that debuted at the 2013 Toronto global Film Festival. The film is about a British Army officer and American laborers who were captured and tormented as prisoners of war at the Japanese labor camp during the Second World War. This British Army officer is known as Erick Lomax; he is dispatched to Japanese camp of POW. Here, he is required to toil on the ThaiBurma Railway which is found on the North of the Peninsula of Malay. Over this period of time in the camp as the Far East prisoner of the war, Lomax is seen to be tortured by the Kemptai. The reason behind this is the building of the radio receiver from the mere spare parts collected cheaply from around the camp. This apparently makes him a chief suspect for the crime of spying to utilize a British news broadcast receiver in a manner that is not acceptable for the Japanese soldiers. The Japanese soldiers allege that Erick uses this receiver as a transmitter of military intelligence, but according to him, this is not his intention. His focus had concerned using this broadcast receiver as a confidence jab for himself and other prisoner-slaves. Within the camp, the American laborers are subjected to brutal and corporal beating and even waterboarding. Life is very miserable for the American laborers in the camp, simply because of the kind of treatment that they undergo (Lomax, 2014).

Erick and his six comrades, while in the camp, are really tortured for constructing a radio to track the advancement of the war around.  Erick, together with his comrades in the prison premises, is first of all forced to stand out in the searing heat which is unbearable; they stay in this condition for a number of hours. In this situation, there is no element of water or food given to them.  This is not enough; by the end of this punishment, the Japanese Soldiers are seen to stomp on them and thoroughly beat them until they lose their consciousness. They use all forms of weapons to beat Erick and the Comrades. Some of the materials used include pickaxe handles. Two of the POWs are seen to be totally unconscious, and they later succumb to the thorough beating. However, for the case of Erick, the punishment for the radio receiver does not end here even after surviving the first beating. He is left on the ground lying on his belly for two consecutive days; this is now worse than the first punishment. When examined closely, his ribs are seen to have cracked by the end of the second day. From the same punishment, his hips and arms are apparently broken. When the Japanese soldiers realize that he survived all these punishments, they decide to subject him to further interrogation and torture within the prison.  This is not done to Erick only but also to other American laborers within the camp. The only immunity is the person who is not able to survive. The worst part of the punishment by the Japanese soldiers is when Erick is forced into a coffin-sized cage for a number of hours at a time. What seems to provoke the Japanese soldiers is the manner in which a mere prisoner and slave is able to make a gadget that was able to monitor the progress of war.  By the end of this worst part of the punishment, Erick, together with other American laborers, is still found guilty of violating the Japanese rules. This is referred to as anti-Japanese activity. After being found guilty, the story continues; he is again sentenced to five years’ hard labor. After this, Erick is transported to another jail which is completely disease-infested so as to spend the rest of the wartime there. Within the camp, other American laborers are harshly treated.  They undergo nightmares, rages, and are seen to have a feeling of isolation. The American laborers are not entitled to any right within the Japanese camps; they have no freedom of association, speech, or even the right to information. In fact, this is the reason why Erick and his six comrades were subjected to such kind of brutal and corporal punishment (Lomax, 2014).

Within the movie, the Japanese soldiers are seen to undergo a very long time of schooling and this is seen to have indoctrinated them with a notion of emperor worship. Moreover, the kind of training they were undergoing in their native country was to make them very brutal when discharging their mandate, especially to the American laborers. During their training, the Japanese soldiers are also skilled to battle with unyielding ferocity. This is part of the Japanese counter insurgency against other forces, apart from the laborers they had within the camp.The training played a pivotal role in creating and producing soldiers who could carry out the most cruel and brutal acts of torture without hesitating and having a second thought. This is evident in the manner Erick and other American laborers are treated in the camp (Lomax, 2014).

The conditions within the camp are also seen to be very pathetic. In fact, some of the laborers are seen to perish as a result of hard labor they are subjected to.  There is poor diet anddiseases are also experienced within the camp and this is what is seen to result to death of thousands of the labors working within the Japanese camp. Within the movie, even at the end of construction of the railway, the American laborers are not set free. This is until the emergence of the allied forces. During this time, the laborers are still subjected to dangers such as constant starvation and allied bombing. There is constant understanding that the Japanese soldiers would probably murder all the laborers by the conclusion of the war. The Japanese soldiers are seen to be not ready to release the American laborers even after the end of construction of the railway line. The American laborers are still seen to be a subject of harsh treatment by the Japanese soldiers. This is what calls for the rescue team that is seen to be emerging at the end of the construction of the railway. Even though the allied forces are emerging to save the situation, the Japanese soldiers are still seen to offer threats to the laborers (Lomax, 2014).

The other movie that discusses or talks about the occurrences during World War 2 is Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – a 1983 movie. The movie is about the relationship existing among four men in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, and this was during the Second World War. The four men in the movie are Major Jack Celliers, who according to the movie is a rebellious prisoner with a guilty secret since his days as a youth, Captain Yonoi, who was a young commandant in the camp, Lieutenant Colonel John Lawrence, and Sergeant Hara. To start with, Celliers is guilty of his actions while in the camp. This is because he is believed to have betrayed his younger brother while they were in school together. Celliers disagrees with Yonoi in various ways, in fact, one of Yonoi’s closest allies plans to kill him. Later in the movie, Yonoi and Celliers confront each other and Yonoi challenges Celliers that if he defeats him in the war that they were about to engage in, he (Celliers) would be free from the prison. The other character in the movie Sergeant Hara is consuming alcohol heavily as it is Christmas Eve. In the process, he gives orders that Lawrence and Celliers to be brought to him. It is astonishing that once Celliers and Lawrence appear before him, Sergeant Hara orders for their release and goes ahead to wish Lawrence a Merry Christmas. This action of releasing Celliers and Lawrence from prison is seen as abuse of power and this leads to Hara’s reprimand. Yonoi then orders for a parade of the whole camp and it is in the parade that Celliers is assaulted by Japanese soldiers. Nevertheless, Captain Yonoi is also not fortunate in his leadership as he is redeployed and succeeded by a Captain who orders for the burial of Celliers who dies shortly afterwards. Four years later, Lawrence who was released by Sergeant Hara decides to visit the latter who has now been imprisoned by the Allied Forces of the World War II. They recall their past experiences while together at the Japanese prisoner of war camp and they also discuss the death of their former Captain Yonoi. During the talk, Hara remembers the experiences during that Christmas Eve and they are amused. They then bid each other farewell for the last time and Hara calls out at Lawrence wishing him a Merry Christmas. The movie shows the existence of friendship between different persons such as Celliers, Sergeant Hara, Lawrence and Captain Yonoi among other people. Though the characters in the movie seem to be from various countries, they relate well with the exception of the Japanese soldiers who in one way or another mistreated their American counterparts (Hammond & Williams, 2005).

According to the movie, just like the previous discussed movie, it is worth noting that the Japanese camp has Japanese soldiers and American laborers, and the relationship between the two groups is not a good one. This is because of the disagreements and harshness among the two groups. For instance, according to the movie, Captain Yonoi is a Japanese soldier and how he treats Americans such as Celliers and Lawrence is astonishing. This is because he is enraged by Cellier’s behavior and has him and Lawrence kept in cells with false accusations of being in possession of a wireless. Besides, the bad relationship between Japanese soldiers and American laborers is evident where Yonoi’s batman wants to kill Celliers although he fails in his attempt while in the camp. Moreover, Captain Yonoi’s poor relationship with the American laborers is evident when he orders for the reprimanding of Sergeant Hara. Additionally, how Japanese soldiers treat American laborers is evident when Celliers is attacked and beaten up by the Japanese soldiers. This occurs when Captain Yonoi who is Japanese orders for a parade where he identifies Americans and mistreats them. Besides, Captain Yonoi at the time, reprimands Sergeant Hara because he had acted against his powers and set free Lawrence and Celliers (Hammond & Williams, 2005).

It is also worth noting that the disagreements in the camps were between the Japanese soldiers and the American laborers. In essence, during the World War II, the United States of America was in different sides with Japan, and in fact, the US bombed a section of Japan and this really affected the Japanese citizens. This is one of the reasons why there was a poor relationship between the Japanese soldiers and the American laborers in the camp as illustrated in the movie. Most Americans in the movie were mistreated by their Japanese counterparts and a perfect example is Celliers who was beaten up by Japanese soldiers and even ended up dying mercilessly as a result of the ruthless Japanese soldiers.

The movie in focus is very interesting and it shows the extent of hatred that can exist among human beings. An individual watching the movie can mistake it for an action movie because of the types of wear worn by the Japanese soldiers. Besides, the movie looks like one of action as there are sections where people confront one fact, the section where Celliers is buried up to the neck as a means of punishment is a common experience in action movies. However, the movie’s objective is to make people aware of the incidences that occurred during World War II (Hammond & Williams, 2005).

In the motion picture, “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”, there are a number of factors that are significant in the movie. To start with, one of the features used in the movie is war. The movie is shot in a prison where there are people of different races involved. In fact, there is war between some of the characters, such as Celliers and Captain Yonoi. The latter tells Celliers that if he defeats him then he would set him free. The other feature that has been applied in the movie is friendship. This is seen among a few members within the camp. For instance, there is friendship existing among the characters Sergeant Hara, Lawrence, and Celliers. This is evident when on Christmas Eve, Sergeant Hara is drinking heavily and calls for Celliers and Lawrence and orders for their release. Though this is later revoked by Captain Yonoi, the friendship among the trio remains intact. Later on, the friends separate as Celliers dies and Sergeant Hara is imprisoned by the Allied Forces during the Second World War. At this time, Lawrence upholds the friendship as he goes to visit Sergeant Hara in prison. The other aspect in the movie is hatred – seen in many scenarios. For instance, there is great hatred between Captain Yonoi and other Americans such as Celliers. He plans for the downfall of Celliers and some of his friends such as Sergeant Hara and Lawrence. However, it should be noted that the factor of hatred is one of the main reasons behind people’s interest in the movie (Hammond & Williams, 2005).

In conclusion, according to the movies, it is worth noting that World War II saw a number of controversial events. For, instance, there was rivalry that emerged as a result of the war. Countries regrouped themselves as Allies and Axis powers. As seen in the movie Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, one of the characters in the movie, Sergeant Hara, was imprisoned by Allied forces during the world war. The major objective of the war was to end enmity and bring various countries of the world together, and this was achieved as illustrated in the movies above. Notably, friendship is seen to exist among people of different nationalities. Notably, the World War II saw nations such as the US fight against the Japanese, and this has greatly affected the Japanese citizens up to today. This is the reason why there is evident hatred and rivalry between Japanese soldiers and American laborers. Presently, there are international organizations that have come up with strategies that ensure that the hatred and rivalry among countries is done away with. This includes the formation of the U.N. directly following the Second World War. The organization has played an integral role in ensuring that international relations across the globe are at advanced levels. The formation of international organizations has been beneficial because the world has enjoyed several decades of peace.



Hammond, M., & Williams, R. (2005).Contemporary American cinema. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Lomax, E. (2014). The railway man.