Answer to Question #161205 in English for Sakha

Question #161205

The firing squad by coin McDougall

1.     Determine the conflicts in the story and explain (remember to discuss both internal and external conflicts). 

2.     How are the ethical boundaries blurred when it comes to the execution of Private Sydney Jones? 

3.     Adam is not just the Commander of a firing squad: he realizes he is an executioner.  What are the connotations of the word “executioner?” How is executing Jones any worse than the war itself? 

4.     How is the situation more difficult “Now the enemy is not a distant face-less target”?

5.     How is the execution of Jones a political matter?  Why must it be carried out?

Expert's answer
  1. Canadian 2nd Rifles Brigade during the Italian Campaign of 1943, Led by the flamboyant Brigadier Ian Kildare, the Canadians invade Sicily where they meet with little resistance from the Italian Army, composed mostly of hapless conscripts who want no part in the war.
  2. ethical boundaries between good and evil are blurred. This is because although everyone knows that "Jonesy" is a scapegoat for the real murderers, the execution must go ahead out of political expediency.
  3. “executioner" is an official who inflicts capital punishment in pursuance of a legal warrant. Adam is an efficient soldier and leader, who nevertheless finds "the vulture fear" inhabiting his soul after the execution of the Italians.
  4. Adam and his men stumble on a chance to redeem themselves when one of their own comrades, Rifleman Jones, a mildly retarded but efficient infantryman, is sentenced to be executed for treason by his own army, after he falls in with a ring of corrupt soldiers who murder an American. Led by Adam, the men wage a tenacious campaign to have Jonesy freed, but all efforts eventually fail. 
  5. The second execution scene establishes Jonesy as a Christ-like figure, and his death is a symbolic atonement for the Canadians' "sin" of murdering the two Italians. Must it be carried out.

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