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Journey's End

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Journey's End R. C. Sherriff created characters that aid the audience's understanding of war through their emotions and dialogue. Each character generates an intensive atmosphere and prompts differing emotions and thoughts from the audience, expressing different feelings and reactions towards war, which all aggregate to the same thing, the fear that they are all going to die sooner than later. The play was written to make people contemplate the futility of war. World war one was a war which lead hundreds of thousands of soldiers to their death. A road where millions met their death, World War One truly was a 'Journey's End'. The play shows how an economically and socially secure era was coming to an end. Sherriff's characters make the best of the situation in which they have found themselves. Each action is displayed in accordance to their character, but they all soon realise that there is nothing noble about war. Raleigh discovers this by joining the army straight after finishing school and sees his hero torn apart, lost, and drinking. Soldiers never found the excitement and adventure that war was supposed to provide them. Instead, their dreams fell apart until there was no hope left. The language is consistently colloquial making it easier for the audience to understand. The shifts in tone express the emotions that the characters are feeling. ...read more.


A certain sense of inevitability about their fate, consequently creates the feeling of sorrow and remorse, not just for the characters, but for the soldiers who fought bravely in the world war. The play 'Journey's End' is based upon Sherriff's own experience of trench warfare in World War I. He wanted the play to achieve the effect that no other war play had done before, by creating a feeling of sadness and regret within the characters and the audience. The play was not glorified and did not contain fighting, instead the play showed the boredom of day-to-day life in the trenches. The characters need to play games and drink alcohol merely to pass the time. The play taught that war was not something to be glorified, but something to learn from. The different characters have different concepts of war. There are only a few characters in the play. The audience can relate to at least one of them, thereby increasing the understanding of the effects of war and the tragic waste of life. The action mainly takes place in Act Three. The audience is not shown any action outside of the dug-out, they are only told about it. For example, the events of the raid are left to the audience's imagination. If RC Sherriff had shown action from the war in the play, The resultant effect on the audience may have been to cause it to shift its expectations and understanding of certain characters. ...read more.


(Act 1) It is his fear that largely motivates Stanhope's antagonism towards Raleigh throughout the play. Stanhope's speech, when he is talking about Raleigh, is deliberately condescending, and a means of self-defence as opposed to expressing his feelings. The audience may conclude that Stanhope is ashamed that Raleigh has to see him in such a frightful state, and this too makes him antagonistic. The dramatisation shows the real life experience for most of the people for that period of time. Through the dialogue, the audience realises that war was not all horror and glory, there was the boredom tedium of the day-to-day life in the trenches. RC Sherriff chose an emotional way of dramatising the pointless waste of life. 'Journey's End' finishes on the dramatic note, of Raleigh entombed in the pitch dark dug-out. He is shown as one more victim of the viciousness and insanity of war. This image effectively dramatises the pointless waste of life. The way in which Sherriff has dramatised the true horrors and the harsh conditions of the world war undoubtedly impressed audiences in the after math of war. Audiences today still find the play a moving realisation of the conditions of World War one. 'Journey's End' was probably one of the first plays to display the true horrors of war. It shows the truth of a war that should never be glorified, and how the soldiers knew that nobody really did win the war. ...read more.

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