The Narrow Road to the Deep North The Narrow Road to the Deep North question

Should Rooster Macniece have confessed his mistake when Darky was being punished for Rooster's fault?
Manaswin Manaswin Apr 21, 2015 10:25AM
After Colonel Kota finds a man short at the line, Darky is punished as he was the Sargent in charge of the men. This punishment eventually leads to Darky's death while Dorrigo understandably stands there pleading for punishment to stop. The discussion I would like to have is whether Rooster did the right thing by remaining silent observer of Darky's death and not being a better man?

In a better world, he could have been a better man. It seems to me that had he heroically stepped forward, it would have weakened the story. The memory of Sgt. Gardiner's death stayed with the survivors (including Dorrigo) long after the end of the war and that memory united and humanized them. Without Darky's sacrifice, the story would have been entirely different.

Rooster not coming forward voluntarily appears to be totally realistic to me, especially in the circumstances in which they were living. Rooster was only saving his life. I also totally agree with Joy that the sacrifice of Darky has given a strong colour to the story. However, i was wondering what i would have done if i was Darky. Would I have told who the missing person was? If I pointed out the missing guy, would someone blame me (Darky)? And what is the significance of the Crimson flower which is appearing in the end?

Jeremy Robertson I believe the flower was symbolic of the notion that "there is beauty in the madness", that in all this despair something beautiful happened. Or possi ...more
May 24, 2015 02:55AM

It's absolutely forbidden in prisoners code to grass up. If Darky points at the guilty one he would lose his face. Prisoners community would judge it as act of cowardness, collaboration, weakness, selling mate to the enemy. Men do not grass up.

I believe that Darky sacrificing himself was a sign of the love he had for Rooster (As a mate) since the book is about love in its various forms. Rooster not coming forward is a sign of how he stands down when things get tough (I can see why he did it, but it's still a question of character when he lets someone else die for his actions).

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