Ju, Tae Rough Draft Let’s Make a Deal “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” The theme throughout Bessie Head’s “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” has to do with conflict and a resolve between characters. The conflict concerns two characters, one prisoner who goes by the name Brille, and the new warder, Jacobus Stephanus Hannetjie. Brille is a political prisoner incarcerated in a particular work span with other prisoners; the work span is called Span One. This story is filled with a few situations where a conflict arises between Brille and Hannetjie.
As you start to read into the story the first conflict arises between Brille and the new warder Hannetjie over a cabbage that Brille dropped. Hannetjie is a new warder who is very strict and tries to push a hard line against Brille and the whole Span One. This conflict between Brille and Hannetjie starts to unfold when Brille drops a cabbage and Hannetjie says “Who dropped that cabbage? ” in a thunderous voice. Another conflict arises again the next day to be exact when Brille is caught stealing grapes from the farm shed.
The story starts to take a turn when Brille catches Hannetjie stealing fertilizer and then comes up with a clever way to make Hannetjie into the kind of warder the inmates really wanted to begin with. In the story Brille is described as a “thin little fellow with a hollowed-out chest and comic knobble knees. ” He is a political prisoner residing in a particular work span known as Span One with other political prisoners. Hannetjie is the new warder; he’s described as being a simple, primitive, brutal soul having “eyes the color of the sky but very frightening. The first conflict arises between Hannetjie and Brille when Brille drops a cabbage near the new warder Hannetjie. Hannetjie for some reason not only punishes Brille but decides to punish the whole of Span One by taking away three meals. Hannetjie tries to force Brille to call him “Baas” and when Brille declines Hannetjie’s request, Hannetjie strikes Brille in the head. The second conflict arises when Brille is caught by warder Hannetjie stealing grapes in a ten-gallon tin. For stealing the grapes Brille gets thrown into an isolation cell for a week.
In the story Hannetjie seems to figure out all the mischevious deeds that Brille and the other political prisoners in Span One were up to. Hannetjie knew “how tobacco smoke was beaten into the ground, how conversations were whispered down the wind, and he uncovered the trick about the cabbages, how they were split in two with the spade and immediately covered with earth and then unearthed again and eaten with split second timing. ” Hannetjie seemed to have it out for Brille and the prisoners of Span One.
The conflict that turns into resolve in the story comes when one day out of the blue Brille walks in with a smile on his face. Brille has a four-ounce packet of tobacco, and pulls it out to share with the other prisoners in span one. When Brille is asked about how he came up on such a commodity, Brille answers the question by explaining how he caught the warder Hannetjie stealing numerous bags of fertilizer from the shed, and the cigarettes were a bribe from Hannetjie in order to keep Brille’s mouth shut.
Brille knowing that he know has the upper hand against warder Hannetjie lets the other prisoners in Span One now that he is going to “punish him (Hannetjie) severly because we need a good warder. ” The resolve comes when Brille put his words into action and punish Hannetjie severely. He decides to walk around the prison yard openly smoking tobacco. When taking to the prison commander Brille claims to have received the tobacco from warder Hannetjie. Even though Hannetjie vehemently denies it, he fails to defend himself.
The warder Hannetjie can’t handle the pressure and is evident by his response when Brille asks him “Why don’t you like your own medicine, Hannetjie? ” His reply to this question being “I can give you anything you want. ” This in turn settles the conflicts between Brille and Hannetjie. Brille just asks that he wants Hannetjie to be on their side, and explains that without a good warder it’s going to be hard to manage the long stretch ahead. Hannetjie is more than happy to oblige and the conflict ends in resolution.