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1) Was Derek Telling Chris Craig, His Psychotic Partner, to Shoot an Approaching Cop as the Defence Contended or Did He Just Want Chris to Give the Policeman the Gun?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By maybellepepsi
Words 687
Pages 3
Let Him Have It centres on two young boys who get involved in the murder of a police officer. Derek Bentley, 19, and Christopher Craig, 16, never thought they would get to a point where one of them had to kill someone when breaking and entering into a warehouse. In the film Derek and Christopher plan to rob a storehouse; the plan to do so this with two other members of their little gang. This occurs after Christopher’s brother Niven Craig is sent down for 12 years a crimes he has committed. Some may say the robbery was done out of spite, a vengeance for Christopher with Derek’s idea. Before the actual crime the small gang met to go over their plan, however it does not go to plan as two members decide to back out and not do it. So it was just Christopher and Derek on the job.
On the roof Derek was telling Chris to let the policeman have the gun by saying “Let him have it Chris” however this could be interpreted into let him have the shot as he was intruding their crime or let him have the gun. On the other hand Derek being epileptic and severely retarded; this is seen as a way of him wanting Chris to shoot him. But before Derek had said “let him have it Chris” the police man had asked Chris to give him the gun “give that thing to me”, the statement from Derek, could be seen as the answer being rebellious.
In this scene where Christopher shoots the policeman, the policeman automatically blames Derek for the shot that was fired. Thinking he has a gun on his person. When the policeman held him up to the wall Derek is holding the weapon that Chris gave him earlier. As earlier on in the film when Derek is buying meat from the butchers, everyone in the shop seems to know who he is (even though they are minding their own business). This indicates that Derek is well known throughout the town. So if the policeman knows Derek and is condition he can blame Derek for the shooting, with ease. If this is true the policeman may know ways in which Derek’s brain cannot process information in certain ways, therefore making him an easy target. This can give reason to why the policeman thought he was part of the whole ordeal.
As Derek is epileptic and severely retarded, (this is why he has the mental age of an 11 year old) his parents and sister have been very careful with him. After the fire that happens in the very start of the film, he stays in his room with his sister bringing him his food and comics; only to leave when his sister convinces him to go buy a record he likes. As he has suffered a lot during his lifetime they are careful with who he hangs around with. That is why they were so uptight with Derek hanging out with Chris but not when they meet “Monty”. With them keeping a close eye on him, he has spent his whole life doing the right thing, doing what he is told. So when he meets Chris you could say it brings excitement into his life, by rebelling for once in his life. So when on the roof the policeman tells Chris to give him the gun; it is in Derek’s reflexes to do so. But when Chris does not hand over the gun, he feels the need to step in and talk his “friend” out of doing something stupid, however this leading Chris to do the stupid thing Derek wanted to avoid.
To conclude Derek was not telling Christopher Craig to shoot the policeman but to hand the gun over into safe hands. This is because of his mental disorder of being epileptic and severely retarded he has only ever known to do as he is told. This means he wouldn’t have the mental ability to even conjure up the will power and thought of telling someone to pull the trigger of a gun.

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