The Machine Gunners Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

The novel "The Machine Gunners" by Robert Westall achieves an artistic balance between setting, characterisation and plot that allows the author to communicate powerfully the themes of the novel. By careful analysis and evaluation show the truth of the above statement.The novel has a widespread appeal for it's audience, but is pacifically aimed at teenagers or older children because of the main characters are all in their teens and with its on the edge of your chair, non stop, thrilling action from finding a machine gun, to building a fortress and capturing an enemy pilot while trying to keep the whole thing a secret.In the second world war, in the town of Garmouth, a fourteen year old boy Chas McGill and his friends, are all into collecting war souvenirs, find something superior to the rest of their or anyone one else in Garmouth collection, a German aircraft machine gun loaded with two thousand bullets that are able to go through a tree trunk half a mile away. They use this opportunity to help defend themselves and the rest of the country against the Germans. They build a fortress to store the gun when the police start getting suspicious. They then sneakily keep it a secret from the police, army and their parents by always making sure the aren't being followed building the fortress in a non remote area and even passing the blame to one of their enemy when their teacher tries to trick them.Who are the "machine gunners" and why are the given this title? Chas McGill and his friends are the 'machine gunners" after Chas finding a machine gun and they all build a fortress to store it.The novel's title is appealing and interesting so it attracts readers but I think other possible names for the novel such as "Gun on the Run" or "Gunned Down" would be good names as well.The novel's setting firmly establishes a context for the events that occur. Where and when does the novel take place? The novel takes place in Garmouth, Tyneside, England in 1940, which was during the Second World War.Important places in the novel are Chirton woods, where Chas found the machine gun and the dead vandalised corpse of the German pilot, the school, where before it was bombed the children met and were nearly caught out by their teacher but because of Chas's quick thinking they were safe, Fortress Caparetto, where the gun was kept, and where Nicky and Clogger lived after Nicky's mum died and after Clogger ran away from his aunts and Nicky's garden where the fortress was built near.The Fortress was the main setting where most of the action was or based around. The fortress was made in the rockery in Nicky's back garden. The Fortress was made of a stolen unused Anderson shelter; the roof was reinforced with Fish Quay Buster, The floor was made of concrete that John had laid, there was a crows nest made of Royal Navy packing cases and there a patch work quilt over the entrance that stopped draughts from coming in.One of the ways in which the novel succeeds is through its...

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