Flashing up from his seat, he strove to assert himself above the hum of agreement that mounted from the foreign contingent, and the doubtful sort of grumble by which the Britisher signifies his disapproval. In the pre-golden era this wide valley, lying open to sun and wind, had been a lovely grassland, ringed by a circlet of wooded hills; beyond these, by a belt of virgin forest. To put it shortly, boys, we're living under semi-martial law. In fact, some scenes in the book explicitly show Self-Harm , depression, a massive inferiority complex and suicidal thoughts. In the early afternoon they set off again, revived and refreshed.