Negotiations begin. pDM outlines the forum proposal. One of the Guards points out that the Prisoners are asking to be rewarded for stealing the keys. pDM responds by outlining a stark choice. Certainly the Guards can refuse to accept his plan, but the alternative is a return to conflict: “It’ll not be the keys tomorrow, it’ll be something else. It’s a game. All I’m saying is that there is a way to resolve that game”.
pDM is confident. He knows he speaks for the Prisoners. The Guards, even in their own mess, are despondent. They know that they can’t handle the Prisoners. And so they accept the new order. Even if they have given up much of their power, at least this system might work and offer them some respite:
gTM: I’m in high spirits after that.
gBG: It actually went alright. This geezer is alright. We can all deal
The new Prisoner has done his work. He has provided a new vision for the prison. However, his effectiveness depended on the group situation. His ability to influence the Guards was due to their collective vulnerability and the fact they were looking for alternatives. His ability to influence the Prisoners was due to his ability to speak for the group as a whole.
The story is not one of the individual triumphing over the group but of the individual triumphing by working through the group.