Archive for the ‘Nevil Shute: A Town like Alice’ Category

January 10, 2010

Chapter 8

This chapter is an important chapter for the whole story. In this chapter Jean met Joe Harman. Jean and the other women were dressed like Malay women. Jean was wearing her long, black hair in a plait down her back, and she wore no shoes. The children’s clothes were all torn and their skins were burnt a deep brown by the sun.

Joe Harman and his friend didn’t believe that the women were British.

For me this was a typical incident of clash of cultures! The women identified by their clothes and not by their characters. In general the first impression is the most important impression. If the two Australian men didn’t believe the women they wouldn’t support then with food and medicine.

In the whole story there are many incident for clash of cultures.

On the one side there were the Malay people on the other side the British women. The Malay people couldn’t understand that the British women want to work for her food. They thought that British women are better people who can’t work. The British women showed them that this was not true.


January 10, 2010

Nevil Shute Norway

He was born on the 17th January 1899 in London and died on 12th January 1969 in Melbourne. Shute was novelist and an aeronautical engineer. He was a well educated person who was interested in different themes like the World War and the various countries with different cultures. Shute’s father, Arthur Hamilton Norway, was the head of the post office in Dublin and his mother worked at home.

Shute was already a rising novelist when the Second World War  broke out.

Jean Paget: Main character

Jean Paget was born in Malaya in 1921. At that time Malaya was ruled by the British and many people from Britain, like Jean’s family, lived and worked in Malaya. Jean’s father was a manager of a rubber estate near Kuala Lumpur. The whole family lived on the rubber estate. Jean had one brother: Donald. He was three years older than Jean. Jean and her brother spoke two languages: English and Malay. When Donald was thirteen, he had to go to school in England. Jean went with him back to England. Both of them stayed with their grandparents near Southampton.

When Jean was thirteen, her father was killed in a car accident. After the education Jean and Donald went back to Malaya. It was their home.

Jean worked as a secretary. She went to parties and had fun. She liked her life.

Then in 1941 the Second World War began.

Jean had to leave the country but there wasn’t enough time anymore. The Japanese arrested her and many other women.

They had to go from village to village during the whole war. In this time, Jean got the leader of the group of women. She fought for food and medicine.

In this time Jean was responsible for the whole group. This fact made Jean to a very strong person who fought for her own interests!

January 10, 2010

During the War

The story tells about a young British woman who grew up in Malaya. After age of 10 years, Jean and her brother Donald went back to England. Both had to go to an English school. After her education Jean went back to Malaya and worked there as a secretary. In 1939 Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began. Jean didn’t change her plan because she thought that Malaya would be a safe place.

In Malaya she lived very well.

But in 1941 Japan entered the war. Jean had to leave Malaya before the Japanese came into the country.

Jean wanted to leave the country, it was too late. The Japanese arrested her and many other men and women. Now they were prisoners!

The men came into work camps, but the soldiers didn’t know what they had to do with the women. The soldiers told them, that there was a camp for women in the next village. The women had to walk to this village. But there wasn’t a camp for the women.

Also the women and Jean walked and walked every day.

During the walk, the women got help and support from other people. They brought them some food. Joe Harman was one of these persons. He brought chickens and pigs. Without these supports, all women had died.

But this kind of help wasn’t allowed and Joe was killed.

During the walk many women and children died, because they were ill or they didn’t have enough food.

During the whole Second World War Jean, the children and the women walked from village to village.

The women walked with a soldier, but he died. He was very ill. After this, the women stopped in a little village and worked there for their food.

After the War

In 1945 the Second World War was over. Jean and the other women, who were still alive, were free.

Jean went back to England and began to work as a secretary.

Her mother and her brother died in the war. Now she was alone. One day Jean got the message from a lawyer that her uncle is dead. He left much money to Jean. She was rich now. With this money Jean wanted to help these people who helped the women during the war. She flew back to Malaya and built a well and a wash house for the last village where the women lived.

In this village Jean founded that Joe Harman wasn’t dead and she searched him in Malaya and Australia. She went to the little village Alice where Joe was born. It was the most beautiful village Jean had ever been seen before. She hoped that Joe lives in a town like Alice. But that wasn’t true. Jean found him at Willstown. Six month later they got married. With help of her money Jean tried to build Willstown to a town like Alice.

A Town like Alice by Nevil Shute

November 3, 2009