Social Justice


A brief description of the main characters in the film.

Henri Young

Henry Youngís character during the film is that of a prisoner in Alcatraz which changes dramatically during the film. The movie also shows Henri at an earlier stage in his life as a teenager as normal as any other kid except he is poor without parents trying to support himself and his younger sister. Henri was sent to prison after stealing five dollars from a post office. Henri was transferred to Alcatraz to fill the prison. Henri was as normal as any of the other inmates in Alcatraz, but after being put in solitary confinement for three years after trying to escape Henry was changed. Henry was a product of his environment during his time spent in the hole Henri lost trust in other humans and sense of time proven when he couldnít even remember how old he was. By the time Henri was released from the dungeons heíd been sent insane. Henri then killed another inmate in the dinning hall with a spoon. Henri didnít know what he was doing and was mentally unstable after his treatment in the hole. Henri opened himself up to one person who was his lawyer James Stamphill. Henry never saw James as his lawyer but as the friend he wanted and needed. Henri evolved from a savage wild man who would kill somebody to a more civilised person with his interaction with James. In the end Henriís character found harmony within himself after winning the court case who he placed with himself versus Milton Glenn the Associate Warden of Alcatraz. When he won it was his Victory.

James Stamphill

Jamesí character is constant that of a Lawyer fresh out of Law school. Jamesís character also narrates the movie, where he says that he is only joining law school when Henry Young was put in Solitary. When Henry is released from solitary James had finished his Bar exam, Jamesí first case would be Henryís. James develops a better understanding of the importance of a relationship with a client to defend them. When James first met Henry all Henry wanted to know about was baseball, so James learnt about baseball and would tell Henri the scores of games where this interaction would get Henri talking to James where James could ask questions during conversations to get the information he needed for the trial.

Milton Glenn

Milton Glennís character is that of Associate Warden of Alcatraz. Milton Glenn uses Henri Young as an example to the prisonerís of Alcatraz after Henri tried to escape. It shows Glenn as psychotic, sadistic and feared by the prisonerís. Glenn is quite manipulative this is shown with one of Miltonís talks with John Humson the Warden of Alcatraz where he told John that Henry needed severe punishment leading the Warden on to believe that Henry was one who had masterminded an escape attempt and needed to be kept in solitary for an extended period.

John Humson

Humson is the Warden of Alcatraz. Humson is never at Alcatraz and has been left in the dark about Henry Youngís treatment, all he knows is what Milton Glenn wants him to know Glenn portrayed Henry as a special case and that he needed to be kept in solitary so Humson kept him in solitary. Humsonís character is in touch with the media and is well respected. John is made to look like a fool when James puts him on the stand revealing that Humson knew nothing of what happens in Alcatraz.

Question 2

Relationships between:

Henri and James

Henri and Jamesí lives where quite parallel in their early years as teenagers they both stole similar amounts of money only that James received a warning for his crime where Henri was sent to jail. When Henri and James first met James was looking at how he could prove Henry innocent, while Henri was looking for something to do before he died. Henry decided he wanted a friend instead of a lawyer and insisted on not talking about the trial. Henry enjoyed baseball where James did not have a clue James learnt the rules and players so he could get Henry talking where then James would tactfully ask questions about the trial to get his information, until Henry felt comfortable talking