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

A comparison in the presentation of the 'horrors of war' in Birdsong and A Journey's End.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A comparison in the presentation of the 'horrors of war' in Birdsong and A Journey's End. In Journey's End there are a lot of references to the shear numbers of people killed on the battlefield. Quotes such as "One thousand eight hundred companies in France" use figures to stress just how epic the war really was, the reader has to be reminded of how vast the war was as most of the readers would not have experienced it for themselves. Journey's End makes the mass death seem even more insignificant by introducing the fact that the German's were just like the allied forces, "I remember once at Wipers we had a man shot down...Next day we blew each other to blazes", no matter what happened the two sides would still kill each other. Similarly in Birdsong there is a lot of description of death, as in Journey's End it explains the losses from both sides of the war, for example the death of Levi's brother towards the end of the novel, and the death of the men in Ypres in Journey's End. ...read more.

Middle

The likely explanation for a lack of graphic imagery is that the text was intended as a play and therefore severe injuries would be complicated to apply mid-performance. Birdsong alternatively is a fairly graphic novel, Faulks was not afraid to describe in detail the shear horror and physical grotesque of war. As Birdsong is a novel the inclusion of such description is far more practical than in the play format of A Journey's End. Faulks uses violent imagery to captivate the reader, well-described events can be easily imagined by the reader and therefore creates far more involvement with the characters and settings. "His nose dangled and Stephan could see his teeth through the missing cheek" is a good example of violent imagery that is very effective in drawing the reader in. The far greater amount of violence in Birdsong is likely to be because the text was published far after the war, Faulks was far more informed about the war and he did not have to worry about causing public upset. ...read more.

Conclusion

When certain characters die in Birdsong there is a genuine feeling of remorse not only from the characters but from the reader as well, for instance the death of characters like Jack Firebrace whom the plot has followed a fair way through novel are killed off so easily and mercilessly. Birdsong's use of graphic description and character relations emphasise the death of familiar characters superbly, almost forcing the reader to genuinely feel for their deaths. Journey's End portrays a very psychological side of warfare, the complete meaningless killing of soldiers is highlighted many times throughout the text. "General wants us to make a raid to find out who's coming into the opposite line here", the troops are far more informed than the higher ranking officers who have never really seen how easily men die after leaving the trench. Higher ranks would spend most of their days sat in a dugout or even further away from the front lines. Complete lack of appreciation for human life is also expressed by the officers, "Still it'll be awfully nice if the brigadiers pleased", this quote show a disregard for the many men that had died, they got what they wanted so they could not care less. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE RC Sheriff 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 GCSE RC Sheriff essays

  1. Journey's End

    At this point the lights would slowly turn red, representing death, blood and pain. The audience think Hibbert is a coward, mainly because he tried to o home, complaining of neuralgia, when he was fine at the party, and he takes his time over everything he does.

  2. Journeys End

    After realising Raleigh is dead, Stanhope gently takes his hand showing how their relationship has grown. However, it is all the more tragic as it's too late now as Raleigh is dead. The intimacy in this scene would move the audience.

  1. In 'Journey's End', R. C. Sherriff presents a highly convincing and effective picture of the ...

    scenes that would not have been able to be performed on stage, without someone being badly injured, but are able to be performed in the form of film. While being performed on stage, the audience would have to imagine some of the horrors i.e.

  2. What is the effect of warfare on the characters and their relationships in "Journey's ...

    'Did I ever tell you the story about the girl I met in Soho?' and 'I never forget picking up a couple of tarts...and taking 'em out to dinner.' From this we can say that he likes girls and the war has affected him so much that old times were the best moments of his life.

  1. How does the play 'Journey's End' convey realistically the horrors of war?

    Trotter decided to 'draw a hundred and forty-four little circles on a bit o' paper' and every hour he was to shade one in till the six days were over. This was to pass the time quicker because a hundred and forty-four hours sounded shorter than six days.

  2. In what ways does R.C.Sherriff re-create for his audience the tremendous stress and fear ...

    "There was only two ways of breaking the strain. One was pretending I was ill-and going home; the other was this (He holds up his glass)" The audience can compare him to Hibbert because of this and once again believe him to be a hypocrite.

  1. Journey's End

    yourself in [the bed] by hanging your legs and arms over the side. Not too far low though or the rats gnaw your boots. Osborne: How many rats are here? Hardy: I'd say roughly about two million. These horrendous conditions had to be endured and more and more trenches were

  2. Journeys End Drama Studies

    As Stanhope first sees Raleigh, the tension is slightly decreased but then quickly raised as Stanhopes reaction to Raleigh is: "How did you - get here" This reaction is incredibly unfriendly and not what the audience was expecting. Therefore the tension is built back up as we wish to learn

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