The Four Feathers
How does the text convey a physical and/or spiritual journey?
The movie The Four Feathers is set in England, 1884 as a young British officer (and son of a British General) Harry Feversham announces his engagement to the young and beautiful Ethne Eustance. Their best friend Jack, who is Harry’s closest comrade, loves Ethne as well, but the two are completely oblivious to his jealousy and are happy. News arrives one evening that their regiment (the Royal Cumbrians) are to be sent to Sudan to aid other British soldiers at war. Harry panics and quietly resigns his commission that night. Seeing his horrified face, the audience can guess that he has acted out of fear. Harry’s comrades learn of his abandonment, and three of them send him white feathers, a symbol of his cowardice. When he meets up with his fiancée, she believes he has resigned to stay with her. She assures him that she would be quite happy for him to apologise and rejoin the boys. Harry yells that the only reason he acted so was because he is too scared to go to war and die. “Then maybe you are a coward,” she tells him, and he is presented with a fourth feather from her. Jack still has faith in his best friend though, telling the other men “he’ll be there.” As the men are about to depart for Sudan, Harry finds his father, General Feversham, and approaches him. His father says loudly “I don’t know you.” This public disownment, coupled with the emotional blow from his fiancée, forces Harry to do some rethinking. He questions his own actions – was he a coward? He eventually decides to discreetly travel to Sudan and see if he can aid his old friends. After being left alone to starve in the desert, he is rescued by a Sudanese man named Abou Fatma, with whom Harry forms a friendship later on. Abou takes him to his old regiment, who use natives as extra soldiers, where Harry disguises himself as an Arab. None of his friends recognise him. Many events that then occur push Harry and test...
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