Alessandro Simon i Wednesday May 1 st 2002 Working Together My personal response is based on the story the Prisoner Who Wore Glasses written by Bessie Head. When I first read this story, I immediately realized some of the main points of the text such as political imprisonment and theft. However, I had to read the text a second time to see the link between the prisoners and collusion. I really liked Brille for he had courage to stand up to his warden and take no more from this man and as for Hannetjie he was only trying to do his job, you can't really punish him for being so mean. I learned, through this story, to understand the concept of political imprisonment.
Political imprisonment is when people are locked up in prison because of their beliefs in a political change. Now this may seem cruel, as it did for me, but I learned that Southern Africa does not have the same type of government as Canada or the United States. In Canada, you are allowed to have the freedom of thought and speech, however in South Africa any thoughts or speech opposing the government in power can land you into jail or even death. In addition, in South Africa the presence of the white man dominates over the blacks. This is why Hannetjie was so cruel and overpowering over them. I reacted indifferently to the fact that Span One was working together.
In most prisons, the group usually works together to get each other through the rough times. If you work as one and stay together usually, you can overcome (psychologically) any opposition no matter the size. This is what Span One did; they drove all their previous wardens by using this tactic. I admire the way Span One sticks together during these rough times. It shows that there are no differences among men and that when one person is in trouble all of them suffer the consequence.
However, the rest do not care if one person makes them all suffer because they are all there for each other and they even show a tight pact of brotherhood for their fellowman. This nullifies all the difference between each other. I understand that fact that staling is wrong in society, but is it wrong for a man to steal bread (or in this case cabbage) to feed himself and his fellow prison mates. I would not think so because these men are on the brink of starvation.
However a man in our society were to steal bread to feed himself it would be wrong because there are people that can help him. However, in the case of Brille and his prison mates it would be acceptable because there is no one else to help them through this rough time. If also found very intriguing that Hannetjie punishes Brille, the prisoner with glasses, severely for stealing and talking back to him. He does realise that they are starving but is his is duty to serve. However, what I loved the most was the irony on the story.
For you see eventually, Brille catches Hannetjie stealing fertilizer and uses this leverage to strike a bargain with him: the prisoners of Span One enjoy privileges that enable them to endure their long, hard confinement and, in return, they become the hardest workers in camp, helping Hannetjie steal fertilizer and other items he can use on his farm. Therefore, it shows that collusion works in this case. Nevertheless, should we always use collusion? No. Should we use it appropriately in cases that are rare and have no other option to escape? Yes. For you see collusion has many references in modern day life and even during World War 2.
It was a known fact that the prisoners of war or the Jews used bribery and blackmail to get what they wanted. Numerous World War 2 movies such as La Bella Vida, Hogan's Heroes, NAZI, Saving Private Ryan, Hart's Heroes, and Schneider's List were all good examples disruption in prison camps and had fine examples of bribery and blackmail. I think this story is useful for today's modern society because it gives a sign, if you stick together an act as one you can overcome any obstacle. Also I think this story is useful because no matter what race you are no one is perfect and that we should not be treated differently but act the same way so we may live harmoniously.
Togetherness brings world peace.