Turkeyriceの勝手に英訳ブログ Turkeyrice's Blog Written in both Japanese and English

音楽,映画,本,テレビ,長崎のことを好き勝手に日本語プラス英語で書いています。2017年に英検1級取得。Talking about Music, Films, Books, TV Programs, and Some Things in Nagasaki

捕虜収容所に見る戦争の非人間性③:ジェームズ・クラベル著「キングラット」を読んで The Inhumanity of Wars Which Can Be Seen through a POW Camp③: “KING RAT” by James Clavell


 “KING RAT”, the title, has something to do with a thing that King was trying to do for making money. He tried to breed rats in order to sell their meat for food. He came up with the idea when he caught a big, ferocious male rat. However, the plan was aborted because of the end of the war leaving many rats in a breeding facility under the floor. This story ends with the scene where the first rat, called King Rat, broke the cage and survived eating his offspring. The rats in their cages remind readers of the prisoners. The ferocious King Rat is a small version of King, who exploited other prisoners to skim the cream just for himself.


 It is often said that Peter Marlowe, who can be called a key supporting role, is based upon Clavell’s younger self. He was, in fact, prisoned in the Changi prison camp for three years so the settings of this story are authentic. Peter continued to be friends with King even when others turned the cold shoulder on King. It is true that what he had looked like, even if it had looked insane in the prison, is what a person should be like in a ordinary life,  He was the only person who fought against insanity and stay sane, and that’s why King is the symbol of freedom for Peter.




 Speaking of Changi, it is now famous because of the international airport that is currently rated the world’s best airport for these years. When I consider this thriving place, in such a peace world, is a place which has such a terrible history, something stirs deep inside me.

 By the way, there seems to be a movie version of this novel released in 1965.