Unser Service

AGB / Datenschutz

Du bist hier: Referate Datenbank | Englisch | Shute, Nevil: A Town Like Alice

Shute, Nevil: A Town Like Alice

Wörter: 1000
Typ: Referat
Sprache: Englisch
Autor: Unbekannt
PDF-Format (?)
ZIP Archiv (?)

Originaldokument enthält an dieser Stelle eine Grafik!
Original document contains a graphic at this position!

A Town Like Alice

by Nevil Shute

by Nevil Shute


Nevil Shute is the pseudonym of the British novelist N. S. Norway. He was born in England in 1899 and died in Australia in 1960.

Other novels: No Highway
In the West
Requiem from a Wren

Main characters

Jean Paget

She is the niece of Douglas Macfadden and she inherits a considerable amount of money when he died. She tells Mr. Strachan about her life in Malaya.

Douglas Macfadden

He is the uncle of Jean Paget and she is his last relative.

Mr. Strachan

He is the solicitor of Douglas Macfadden.

Joe Harman

He is an Australian lorry driver who is also a prisoner of the Japanese.


In this book a young woman from England tells her experiences which she had as a girl aged about 20 years old. Her name is Jean Paget. She tells her story to Mr. Strachan, the senior partner of a firm of solicitors. Recently Jean has met her acquaintance because she is the niece - and the last relative - of Douglas Macfadden. Mr. Macfadden (Mr. Strachan`s client) has died and Jean inherits a considerable amount of money, but she doesn`t get it all in all. Every month she gets a little part of that money. That was Mr. Macfadden`s idea, because he didn’t believe that women could deal with so much money. After Mr. Macfadden`s death, Mr. Strachan had to find his client’s last relative. After a while, he`s found Jean Paget, a young typist in the office of a concern called Pack and Levy Ltd. He invites her to tell her the facts of her heritage.
For some time, they often met to go to the theatre or to go out to have dinner. One day she tells Mr. Strachan about her past:
Jean`s father had a job in Malaya, so the whole family lived there. Jean got older and when she was about 20 years old, she got a job in a Malayan office. In these days there was the war between Japan and US. She was one of the last persons to leave the country. On the last lorry which wanted to drive to the nearest port were about 30 families and Jean Paget.
Meanwhile, the Japanese army had invaded part of the island. As the lorry was on its way it was stopped by the Japanese. All persons on it were imprisoned but the families were separated. The men were driven to jail, the women and children had to stay at an old school. The local Japanese commander didn`t want to assume responsibility for these women and, to solve this problem, marched them out of his district.
In the next days this group of about 30 persons walked along the roads. The group were sent from town to town and from cottage to cottage. Sometimes in a town they were unwelcome and so they got less to eat, they hadn`t anything to wash and they hadn`t got any medicine. They suffered from many diseases, for example dysentery and malaria. Many of the women and children died. Jean Paget survived because she was a very strong woman. She helped the others with their children and cared for the sick persons. She spoke a little bit Malayan so they hadn`t so many problems to get something to eat or to sleep. She was dressed like a Malayan woman because it was very practicable.
On their way they met two Australian lorry drivers (they were also prisoners). These men helped the little group of prisoners very much. They brought them some medicine and soap. One of the Australian prisoners, Joe Harman, had stolen a few chicken from a Japanese commander. Jean and Joe talked very much about their home country and what they do at home and about many other things more. They liked each other.
One of the Japanese soldiers got to know that Joe had stolen the chicken and so Joe was tortured by them. After that he was crucified. That was the last that Jean had seen of him, she thought that he was dead.
The women walked on and one day they came to a little cottage where they asked if they could stay at this place. The inhabitants agreed but the woman were imprisoned for two and a half years.

Now Jean has inherited so much money, she goes on a journey to visit the home of Joe Harman. By chance they meet each other again and Jean decides to stay at Joe`s hometown and modernise and develop it.

This story really happened, not in Malaya but in Sumatra. After the conquest of Malaya in 1942, the Japanese invaded Sumatra and quickly took the island. A group of about eighty Dutch women and children were collected in the vicinity of Padang. The Japanese didn`t know what to do with the women they sent them around the island by walking.

Personal comment

"A Town Like Alice" is a beautiful story about a young girl with many experiences in her short life. I read this book and I think that nobody could do such ugly things to people to send them around an island only to get rid of them. Of course in a war everything is different but the Japanese were known as human. So the women couldn`t really believe what happened to them. They suffered from many diseases and had no medicine. They had to beg for food and places to sleep in. In some villages the inhabitants were very unfriendly to them, they didn`t give them anything and sent them to the next village. In some others the women got a lot.

I think Nevil Shute had done something good with this book because people should know how terrible the war was. People should learn from their mistakes in the past and shouldn`t repeat them.

(c) 2003-2018  HD Software & Beratiungs GmbH
  Partnerseiten:Referate Online|Die besten Nachhilfe Videos