Private Peaceful

Topics: Family, Authority, World War II Pages: 2 (900 words) Published: September 10, 2014
Essay Sample: Michael Morpurgo shows us how different people respond to authority. Discuss.

Award winning novel Private Peaceful by author Michael Morpurgo takes readers on a journey into lives of the Peaceful family. Set in England and the trenches of Belgium during the period of World War One, Morpurgo illustrates how different people respond to authority. Narrator Thomas (Tommo) Peaceful follows the rules and obeys the commands of people that are more powerful than him. His brother Charlie on the other hand rebels to authority figures which ultimately causes him many problems. Mother however with her family’s best interests at heart, compromises with people of power in a way to ensure everyone is happy.

Tommo, the youngest member of the Peaceful family followed orders to ensure he did not get punished or hurt. This is made obvious with his brother Charlie who was extremely influential and protective of Tommo. Charlie insisted Tommo broke the rules and became the mailman between Molly and Charlie who were forbidden to see each other by Molly’s parents. Tommo agreed to this arrangement because Charlie was someone he looked up to and felt was more powerful than he was. He also took notice of his elders when he was labelled a “coward” by an old lady who insisted he joined the army and go to war. Tommo although petrified felt it was his duty to follow his brother and go to war to prove he was brave and also because he felt he “never dared enough”. During his time at school with Mr Munning’s and Ms McAlister and his time at war with Sergeant Hanley and Wilkes Tommo always obeyed orders which is made obvious predominately at war when Tommo tells Charlie “Hanley is like Mr Munnings, our lord and master. You can’t fight him”. Tommo a character of obedience always liked to follow orders of higher commands unlike his brother Charlie.

Charlie Peaceful preferred to do things his way and essentially this went against those who had more authority than he did....
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