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Discuss the presentation of the effects of war on soldiers in Journeys End and compare with the effects of war on soldiers in Blackadder Goes Forth. How far do you agree that Journeys End presents this theme in

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Introduction

Discuss the presentation of the effects of war on soldiers in 'Journeys End' and compare with the effects of war on soldiers in 'Blackadder Goes Forth'. How far do you agree that 'Journeys End' presents this theme in a more powerful way? 'Journeys End, by R.C.Sheriff, and 'Blackadder Goes Forth', by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis, present the effects of war on soldiers in very different ways. Both dramas create empathy for certain characters and the characters in each text are parallel to each other and show extremes in class' of soldiers and officers in the trenches. 'Journeys End' presents the effects of war on soldiers in a more powerful way than in 'Blackadder Goes Forth' and this could be to do with the humour and comedic side of 'Blackadder Goes Forth' which could be seen to take away the serious themes being presented and the empathy the audience feels towards certain characters. 'Journeys End', first published in 1929, not long after WW1, creates tension and drama to show the effects of war on soldiers. Sheriff carefully picks a range of characters varying from the young and innocent (Raleigh) and the tired and weary (Hibbert) as well as capturing the hardships of even the bravest and most idolised soldiers (Stanhope). ...read more.

Middle

'Journeys End' and 'Blackadder Goes Forth' both show the psychological impact of war on a variety of characters. Firstly, the character of Hibbert in 'Journeys End' is a clear example of the psychological impacts of war on a soldier. He spends most of his time throughout the text trying to get home or persuade Stanhope he is not well and cannot fight. "Ever since I came out here I've hated and loathed it." This sentence shows how much the war has affected Hibbert and the language used shows his hatred for the war and how terrified he is. The word 'loathing' suggests that he would rather be anywhere then going over the top. "Ill never go over those steps again... knowing - I'd rather die here." Hibbert is telling Stanhope that he can't take it anymore and he is refusing to go over the top again. This suggests that Hibbert, has been terribly affected by the war and has been psychologically scarred from his experience. Furthermore, it helps the audience understand the drastic consequences that the war had on soldiers. Similarly, the character of Darling, in 'Blackadder goes Forth', is another clear example of the psychological impact of war on soldiers. "No sir, I mean, I don't want to go to battle..." ...read more.

Conclusion

"I'm thinking of that youngster I sent up to you last night.". This suggests that the colonel has no worry about the loss of a young boy going over the top and suggests that he either doesn't understand the implications of going over the top or he doesn't care. Furthermore, this suggests that the generals during the war had few worries and therefore fewer awful experiences during the war and therefore were affected far less then the soldiers. This suggests that 'Journeys End' is a powerful text in showing the effects of war on certain soldiers. In conclusion, the overall portrayal of both the texts is the effects of war on soldiers and 'Journeys End' is a more powerful text in showing the effects. 'Blackadder goes forth' is a far less serious drama and therefore waters down the deep and awful effects that the war had on soldiers. Ross Ruediger wrote a review about 'Blackadder Goes Forth' and suggested that it 'wasn't nearly as "historical"' as the series before and therefore is more about the comedy then about the effects of war on soldiers and therefore it seems that 'Journeys End' is a far better text at presenting the effects of war on soldiers. Furthermore, it seems that the overall message of the both the texts is that the war had far less of an effect on the generals then on the soldiers, who suffered greatly as a consequence of the war. ...read more.

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