A Bridge Over The River Kwai by Pierre Boulle.

Essay by rambler03High School, 12th gradeA+, December 2003

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A Bridge Over The River Kwai

A bridge needed to be built over the River Kwai, connecting Bangkok to Rangoon along the Burma-Siam Railway. The task needed to be accomplished in 1943 by a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma. This camp was run by Colonel Saito. The prisoners of war at this camp were mainly British soldiers led by Colonel Nicholson. The prisoners had to work from dawn to dusk in jungle heat and contend with malaria, dysentery, beri-beri and jungle soars. They only had six months to complete the bridge.

Colonel Saito uses the British soldiers because they are very skilled at building bridges and allows their colonel, Colonel Nicholson, to command them. Colonel Nicholson becomes very obsessed in building the bridge and doesn't want any interference.

While the bridge was being built, Force 316 (an envoy of American and British soldiers) were hiding in the jungle near the bridge planning to blow it up upon completion.

They couldn't get word to Colonel Nicholson in fear they would be discovered.

The bridge gets completed in six months. On the day the first train is to go over it, Force 316 has it rigged to be blown up. Colonel Nicholson discovers the plot to blow up the bridge minutes before the train arrives. The British men of Force 316 try to tell Colonel Nicholson that they are British soldiers, just like him, and have orders to blow up the bridge but he would not listen.

He calls to Japanese guards for help and the bridge never blows up. However, Colonel Saito, Colonel Nicholson and two Force 316 soldiers die.

The Bridge Over The River Kwai was a very interesting book. It pitted two colonels against each other, one British - one Japanese, and both out to do their...