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Analysis of Journey's End

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Introduction

TOPIC: How do characters cope with the stress of the war in the book Journey's End? War changes men. Serving on the front line, Stanhope and his officers has experienced the full horror and futility of the trench warfare in World War I. Under the huge stress the war has brought to everyone, Stanhope and his men must find a way to deal with this problem. For instance, some of them evade the topic of war in a variety of ways, and some tries hard to shirk the war. In the beginning of the first act, Captain Hardy jokes about the behaviour of Stanhope who has been drinking alcohol every day. Osborne defends Stanhope and describes him to be "the best company commander we've got". According to Hardy's description, however, Stanhope is always "drinking like a fish" in a way that Hardy "never did see a youngster put away the whisky he does". Later on Raleigh appears. He knew Stanhope from the school and Stanhope was the skipper of the rugby team. ...read more.

Middle

Rather a coincidence." He seems to be more used to commanding people than sharing his personal feeling.(However, he does share his own thoughts with Osborne for a few times.) Even after Osborne's death, he hardly says anything until he eventually bursts out. Due to this reason, he is sometimes introverted, unless with his best friends. This is the main reason why Stanhope chooses this way to shirk the realities of the war. Trotter is a very interesting and good-humoured man. He cannot stand the war and counts down every single hour he serves on the front line by drawing circles on a piece of paper and colouring one circle each hour. As he cannot stand the war, he tries to talk about anything else rather than "War". In Scene One of Act Two, he and Mason talks about the bacon rashers they eat, the coming of spring, the birds and the flowers. Their conversation does not have a certain topic, because they just want to talk about something else, supposing they are not in a dug-out on the front line, but somewhere in a village, enjoying the smell of the coming spring. ...read more.

Conclusion

To him, escaping from the trenches is never considered. Hibbert is seen as false in this play. He always complains about his neuralgia which he states he has been suffering from, but, no one believes him. This time when he complains it to Stanhope, Stanhope, gets extremely angry, and threads him that he will kill Hibbert if he still wants to leave. From the description of his action before the Germans' attack, in the last act, we can see that Hibbert is a lazy man and wants to get rid of the fighting. This makes me believe that Hibbert is just pretending that he is suffering from the neuralgia. This spineless man is afraid of death, and his personality influences his decision on making excuses such as neuralgia. Over all, in this play, most of the characters are trying to escape from the trenches and the realities of the war. Under the stress of the trench warfare, different people react differently. Some are positive and some are negative. Their different characteristics decide their action. ...read more.

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