• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore Sherriffs presentation of class in Journeys End and compare this with Barkers treatment of it in Regeneration.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore Sherriff?s presentation of class in Journey?s End and compare this with Barker?s treatment of it in Regeneration. In 1914 class distinctions were only too apparent within the British military, its structure mirroring the British class system ? only the war?s vast death toll required class boundaries to mix as the need for more officers arose; temporary commissioning bestowed the title ?temporary gentlemen?. The devices Sherriff and Barker use to present class are numerous, their respective genres creating some discrepancy. Journey?s End is set solely in an officers? dug-out where somewhat caricatured characterisation depicts clear division between classes; more fascinating is his depiction of division within the officer ranks which may reflect Sherriff?s experience as a serving officer. Barker, too, encourages reflection on ?temporary gentlemen? which makes us suspect the true focus of both works is that class is a negative and superficial construct ? it does not prevent death. However, Barker?s sub-textual perspective, based on eighty years of hindsight, merges real and fictional characters to give us only a glimpse of class; her focus appears more on the psychological aftermath of those who have survived. Journey's End is set in the officers? dug-out, an indication of division which the opening conversation of talk of ?fellows? and exclamations such as ?Splendid!? public school background confirms. ...read more.

Middle

but the use of humour in his dialogue matches that of Hardy and Trotter, making him an equal; in war there is no separation as each has his job. Prior indicates his social insecurity to Rivers: ?it helps if you have been to the right school? where hindsight informs us this is accurate. Barker uses Sarah to return Prior to his roots as she does not threaten his conflicting elevated status as an officer, hence his open mocking of the ignored censorship of letters as ?frightfully bad form?. Barker states he ?preferred Sarah like this? when she attacks his implied idea that only officers have ?honour,? and we recognise background as superficial. Sherriff uses Second Lieutenant Trotter to present the ?temporary gentlemen?, a non-commissioned officer who has ?risen? from the ranks. Thus he does not share the same social background as the other central characters as his weak Received Pronunciation makes apparent: ?I ?ate pineapple chunks; too bloomin? sickly for me!? Sherriff corroborates this difference even in the contrast of physical description. Whilst Stanhope is described as ?tall, slimly built with broad shoulders? Trotter is ?short and fat?. However, Trotter?s class status bears no reflection on his ability as an officer and we admire his equanimity in the face of a raid which forces the reader to question whether class is an effective system in the army. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet the crucial message concerning class appears to be that it is superficially negative ? it does not prevent death. Sherriff implies, through the working class Mason and Trotter, an immunity to life?s hardships or with a well-developed coping mechanism of ?eating? and ?feeding? in sharp contrast to the higher-class Hibbert and Stanhope with their respective ?neurosis? and ?drinking?, both as a result of the pressures of the war. Barker also confirms the negativity of the class system through Prior?s anger at class division at the front but herpost-modernist psychological perspective uses class as a device for her character exploration rather than for comment on as a theme. Being a temporary gentleman also suggests that class is a construct rather than a given. Sherriff recognises that the war had to be fought as even the shell-shocked Hibbert doesn?t question its validity, merely highlights the toll war exacted on those involved, perhaps because his presentation was so close to actuality Barker?s concern for the quality of the survival that Sherriff?s characters are denied is perhaps a result of the weakened class structures of modern day Britain. It would seem that class for both writers is an entity that loses relevance when faced with the truth about this war. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Synoptic Paper section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Synoptic Paper essays

  1. Representation of War in Regeneration and Wilfred Owens Poetry

    The imagery she uses symbolises the conflict which is running through the men's minds following their devastating experiences. To use an example, in Chapter 4 Anderson tells Rivers of his nightmare which includes a great deal of symbolism and imagery.

  2. Write a comparison in the ways in which warfare is presented in the novel ...

    as Hilliard feeling 'at home and in comparative peace' in his trench, a direct contrast to the restlessness he felt at his home. There is also a strong portrayal of war-fare being futile, in both texts. Although as Journey's End, is a drama, Sherriff demonstrates this futility through language as well as action.

  1. Air of pessimism present in Waiting for Godot and The Wasteland

    make but are hesitant, anxious and generally inactive: "Estragon: Well, shall we go? Vladimir: Yes, let's go. They do not move." Beckett infers that humans 'pass time' by habit or routine to cope with the existentialist dilemma of the dread or anxiety of their existence.

  2. How does Faulks presentation of Death and its impact on soldiers influence your understanding ...

    This suggests the maddening effects of trench warfare in particular the brutal reality of witnessing horrific events. Also breakdowns are shown during the big push by the padre Horrocks. Faulks presents the powerful image of a priest losing his faith in God by, 'pulling the silver cross from his neck

  1. Is Regeneration an Anti-war Novel?

    Furthermore, by the end of the novel Rivers' convictions shift and he realizes how unjust the war is, how awful and long-lasting the consequences are, thus contributing to the peak of the reader's anti-war certainty. The idea of unjust war is implied through River's change.

  2. Tim O'Brien's 'The Things They Carried' and Pat Barker's 'Regeneration'. Compare and contrast the ...

    Craiglockhart is described as both 'gloomy[ix]' 'massive[x] and 'cavernous[xi].' The author uses these terms to highlight the despair felt by those who have been sent there to recover. The negative connations of the words make the reader see Craiglockhart

  1. Explore how Journeys End uses the character of Stanhope to show the hardship of ...

    This stage direction tells us that he is miserable and impatient because Osborne, his best friend died the day before and he proberly has a hang over from the party night before. The other characters help us understand Stanhope because Hardy say:' How is the dear young boy?

  2. Compare and Contrast the Presentation of the Relationship between Raleigh and Stanhope in Journeys ...

    The relationship is strained under the conditions of war. This is contrasted with the way the war brings Stephen and Weir closer together. One of the reasons for the strain in Journey's End is the clash of character between Stanhope and Raleigh. Raleigh is still a boyish youth who is naive, optimistic and eager to please.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work