The Playright – John Townsend
John Townsend is a children’s writer of over a hundred books, many of which are non-fiction covering diverse subjects such as history, geography, science, medicine, crime, and natural history. Having taught in both primary and secondary schools (including running a special needs department in a comprehensive school), he has experience of all ages, abilities and most curriculum subjects including drama & writing/producing the dreaded school plays.

SYNOPSIS
Lord Septic is determined to find the long lost gold owned by Lady Gatsby. Lady Gatsby was murdered. Lord Septic buys the railway line in the hope of finding the gold. Meanwhile, Rose who is blind comes to sell flowers to help her sick mother. Lord Septic instructs Crouch to get her out of the station. He takes her flowers and throws them onto the tracks. Percy. Who is a young orphan comes to her rescue but he is knocked down by Lord Septic. Lord Septic and Crouch then tie Rose to a railway track. She finds about Percy’s true identity and the gold. Percy is the heir to the Gatsby gold and is known as Sir Percy. Lord Septic loses everything.

PLOT

• EXPOSITION – Lord Septic, the villain, and his servant Crouch, a bully, are waiting for the midnight express at the train station. Lord Septic owns the train stations and he wants wealth and power.

• RISING ACTION/CONFLICT – Rose, a blind flower girl comes to the station. Crouch bullies her and Percy, the hero comes in to help her. He tells her about himself.

• CLIMAX – Lord Septic hits Percy and ties Rose to the train track. Percy runs off to try and stop the train coming down the track.

• FALLING ACTION – Percy stops the train and Rose is saved. Percy learns that he is Sir Percy Gatsby and heir to the Gatsby Gold.

• RESOLUTION – Lord Septic and Crouch, the villains, are tied up and waiting to be picked up by the police. Percy, the hero, proposes Rose and she agrees to marry him.

THEMES
Greed and Materialism
Lord Septic yearns for more money although he is already rich. He aims to be the richest man in the world. He and his father killed Lady Gatsby for her gold. He married his wife because she owns a gun factory. To cut cost, he does not care for the safe storage of matches at his factory.
Justice prevails
In the end the truth is known. Lady Gatsby’s murderer is found and the gold is returned to its rightful owner. Lord Septic’s greed leads to his downfall, as Percy and Rose are prepared to expose his crimes
MORAL VALUES
We should be sensitive to people’s feelings.
Crouch is unkind to Rose. He knows that Rose is blind but he bullies her by throwing away her flowers. In contrast, Percy is kind to Rose. He helps her pick up the flowers and tries to cheer her up. He also offers to pay for her eye operation.
Responsibility
We must be responsible in life. Lord Septic is not a responsible employer. He did not pay his workers and does not care for their safety. Rose, on the other hand is very responsible. Although she is blind, she sells flowers to earn money so that she can help her mother.

SETTING
This story is set in an empty train station in rural England. It was during a cold, foggy night.
CHARACTERS

ROSE
-She is poor and humble. She lives in poverty and sells flowers for a living. The hardship that she is going through made her lead a simple, humble and homely life.
-She is also blind and innocent. Rose is blind due to the flames at the match factory owned by Lord Septic. She cares for her sick mother, so she sells flowers in order to pay for her mother’s medication and treatments.
– She is a devoted child who looks after her ailing mother although she is blind. She is also optimistic as she never gave up in her effort to earn money to treat her mother. She is also quick in finding out about Percy’s background and gives moral support to him to regain his family fortune.

PERCY
-He is an orphan. Percy’s mother was killed on the railway line and he became an orphan living in poverty and hardship. He was found in the litter bin at the railway station, wearing a purse containing a key bearing the initials, NSL. He went through a poor life without realizing that he is actually the rightful heir to Gatsby Gold. Although he is an orphan, he is a selfless and helpful. He helps Rose to pick up her flowers which is thrown by Crouch, and rescued Rose from being killed by Lord Septic when she is tied on the railway tracks by Crouch.
-Percy is generous. Although he is poor he is sympathetic towards Rose and really wishes he could give her some money when he first meets her at the railway station. When Percy came to know that he is rightfully the heir of Gatsby Gold, he willing to share his gold with Rose.
-Percy is quick in thinking. He managed to stop the train before it runs on Rose. He then he climbed up the gas lamp at the far end of the station and put his pants over the lamp. The train driver thought it was a stop light, so his pants brought the train to a halt.”

LORD SEPTIC
-He is portrayed as a cruel and greedy man. Lord Septic is a cruel owner of the match factory where Rose worked. . When she lost her eyesight due to the fire in the factory, he did not pay her for the damage. Besides that he treats Rose like a beggar and chases her form the railway station. Although he is rich, he want more and more wealth, he seeks more power and willing to kill for it. He wants to be the richest man and wants to find the Gatsby Gold.
-He is also hot tempered and egoistic. He grabs Rose by the wrist and demands Crouch to tie her up. He takes control of the situation and he said that no one ever tells him what to do. He can also be very violent. He creeps from the shadows and mercilessly hits Percy on his head with his stick. Then he slams Percy against the locker.

CROUCH:
-He can be described as subservient. Crouch is a servant who is so devoted and submissive towards his master, Lord Septic. He gives too much respect to his master. He is dim-witted as he simply agrees with whatever his boss says and instructs.
-He is also a bully. He bullies Rose and throws away her tray of rose across the platform. He has no sense of humanity although he knows that Rose is poor and blind.

LANGUAGE AND STYLE
The language used is simple and clear. However, the dialogues are full of exaggeration and there is always the repetition of words.

DISCUSSION

1. Treatment of human beings:

We shall explore how human beings are actually treated. We will discover the treatment of human beings as an abstract economic quantity. They are valued not for their own individual characteristics but for their economic function. The individual is not known and valued for his or her own identity but for their importance in the economy. We can see this element clearly in Rose situation in Gulp and Gasp. Lord Septic and Crouch treats her as rubbish without any consciences because they think that Rose is nothing but useless. We can see it clearly in these dialogues;

“A flower seller. I will not have beggars on my platform. Tell her to go or I’ll throw her and her flowers under the midnight express – if it ever comes.”
“Get off this platform. We don’t have beggars here.”

Another example can be seen between Lord Septic and his wife, Clora Septic.

“I only married her for her arms”.

Clora is a wealthy lady as she owns a gun factory. This line shows that Lord Septic married her because of her importance in the economy. He does not value her individual characteristics, instead he feels that she is an annoying person. He even thinks that it would be a good idea to kill her. In other words, he is filled with greed that he only married her to gain financial advancement for himself.

2. Exploitation:

The slaves and the labourers are seen only as mere manufacturing machinery. Lord Septic doesn’t view his slave and servant as an individual and human. He is too obsessed with his power of wealth and feels that no one can stop him and that makes him exploit and discriminate others. He exploits his servant, Crouch for his own needs. He called Crouch fool as in this dialogue;

“Crouch, I don’t know why I keep you as my porter. You are dim, daft, dopey, dozey and dippy. What’s more you annoy me. I’m not nice when I’m cross.”

Another example can be seen through Lord Septic’s workers.

“Lord Septic didn’t pay us”.

Rose used to work in a match factory which is owned by Lord Septic. Lord Septic treated the workers unfairly by making them work and not paying their salary. He also did not ensure a safe working environment because it would cost him money. Due to this, there was a fire that killed many lives and left Rose blind. This shows that Lord Septic uses the workers for his on advantage in order to make money from their work.

3.Suppression and Resistance

The higher class always seems to get the upper-hand. This phenomenon still exists today whereby the higher class suppresses the lower class in the society. This basically leads to the rich to dominate and manipulate the world’s economy. There is also resistance by the lower class against the upper class. Rose shows resistance in more implicit manner. She refuses to leave the station after being ordered to by Crouch. She believes it is her right to be able to sell her flowers. Later, she threatens to reveal Lord Septic cruel ways to the newspapers. Percy, the hero shows resistance against oppression in a more explicit manner. He grabs and scolds Crouch for threatening Rose. He later captures Septic and Crouch using a chain and reveals their crimes to the police. The workers of two factories belonging to Lord Septic go on strike, demanding fairer treatment at the factories.

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