Analytical Essay on "The Fire on the Snow"

Topics: Robert Falcon Scott, South Pole, Hero Pages: 4 (1404 words) Published: August 25, 2005
Douglas Stewart's radio play, The Fire On The Snow, first performed in 1941, presents the story of Captain Falcon Robert Scott's tragic expedition to the South Pole. In the radio play, Stewart skilfully positions the audience to accept the dominant reading of the play by showing the dominant discourse: that heroes' nobility depends on their action and ordinary people can become heroes too. Stewart also positions the audience by using the role of the Announcer as a mask for himself to give comments to the stages during play in lyric verse forms and factual commentary statements, and also involve the men's dialogue.

In November, 1911, Captain Falcon Robert Scott led a British team across the snows of Antarctica, striving to be the first to attain the South Pole. After marching and hauling over 800 miles, Scott and his four comrades reached the Pole in Jan, 1912, only to find out that Amundsen's team (five Norwegians) had achieved the goal a month earlier. Scott, Wilson, Oates, Bowers and Evans, all perished in the ice on the return journey, but became national heroes, because of the selfless, sacrifice for the others and their heroic action to the Pole. Their race against the Norwegians to be the first reaches the Pole, laid the foundation of one of Antarctica's most tragic legends.

Due the time frame when Stewart was writing the play, which is during the Second World War, he effectively positions the audience to sympathize with the tragic death of the heroes in the play by reinforcing the main discourses of both personal and national sacrifices of ordinary men. Many dramatic techniques were used to enhance the audience's awareness of the struggles that the men had been through. One of the major techniques is Stewart' positioning of the audience involved the use of lyric verse to assist the audience to create the visual and auditory imagery and to feel the harsh atmosphere that the play has created; and also through some technical devices such as the...
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