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Write a comparison on the ways that social class differences are presented in Journey(TM)s End and A Long Long Way

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Introduction

Write a comparison on the ways that social class differences are presented in "Journey's End" and "A Long Long Way" From the start, Sherriff's play "Journey's End" and Barry's novel "A Long Long Way" present two very different social class viewpoints of the Great War. Sherriff's play focuses on the viewpoint of the public school educated officers of the "C Company" and Barry presents his novel through the eyes of an ordinary Irish boy, Willie Dunne, who not having reached the height required for him to follow his father into the police force, opted to volunteer for the war. The biggest difference between both texts is the language. The novel's narrative focalisation often shows the working class viewpoint of Willie whereas the play is full of public school register. The reader and the audience are aware, as a result of the difference in social class views and are provided with ample opportunities to compare the differences in both texts. Both the texts are a reflection of the times they were written. The play being written just after the war and during a time where theatre-going was a solely upper class phenomenon would not have been at all popular if it was focused on the lives of the working class soldiers rather than the lives of the officers. ...read more.

Middle

His duty to his country manifests itself in his enquiry about looking "every inch the soldier". However, this is contrasted by Osborne's strong sense of duty. He is dutiful and very loyal to Stanhope while Hardy being the shirking type, incredulously remarks Osborne is "fussy" and "God! you are a worker". This difference is seen within the same class system. Both of them are obviously not working class soldiers but their attitudes on honour and duty differ. It therefore stands to reason that there will be such differences, if not more contrasting ones, from either side of the line. The audience is not disappointed, but the differences are somewhat unexpected. Hibbert, an officer of the company, is a weak and ineffectually individual. From the start Sherriff immediately establishes him as someone that does not contribute fully to the team, and because of this, we do not feel sympathy for him. In contrast to this, Mason, a fighting soldier, acts as a cook and as well as a servant. He is evidently hard-working and keen to serve, and Osborne and Trotter discussing his dirty dishcloth also provides some light humour. Mason serves as a reminder that normal activities still need to continue, and his all-round good nature endears the audience to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is obvious that Trotter has come to terms with the slightly patronising behaviour and the presumed lack of intelligence he has to endure within the army. He shows his fierce commitment and loyalty when he is made second in command. He evidently feels honoured by the promotion and promises Stanhope that he will do his best and not let him down. The social class difference also transcends into the way the soldiers and officers talk to each other. In "Journey's End", the two main working class characters are Mason and Trotter. Mason speaks in a Cockney accent and Sherriff indicates this through the spelling and dropped letter at both the beginning as well as the end of words. The meat that he serves at the beginning of the play has a "noo shape" and "'asn't got that smooth wet look" that liver has. Trotter also speaks differently from the other officers. His use of the phrase "I reckon" where Raleigh and the others would you "I suppose" is a clear example of this. His exclamations are more frequent as well. They consist of "damn" and "bloomin'" as well as "blinkin'" whereas the other officers would say things like "beastly", "frightfully" and, very rarely, "damned". Another clear illustration of this is when Trotter comes to see Osborne just before the raid. ...read more.

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