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Choose 3 different characters from “Journey’s End” and discuss how each of them reacts to the strain of war.

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Introduction

Choose 3 different characters from "Journey's End" and discuss how each of them reacts the strain of war. Being in World War I was a very difficult task. Millions of young men responded to the call to enlist in the army, expecting it to be the "jolly, kill all the Germans and become a hero" game, so widely publicised by the British Government. However, they soon found out it was totally different. Thousands of soldiers were being killed each week. Obviously different people tried to get through it in different ways. Stanhope, Hibbert and Raleigh are three such people from "Journey's End". By the time the play opens, Dennis Stanhope who had been out for three years, already had a reputation for being a heavy drinker. Hardy asked in a conversation to Osborne, 'How is the dear young boy? Drinking like a fish as usual?' This makes it obvious that Stanhope drinks a lot, and is noticeable by his fellow colleagues. Stanhope had come straight out of school when he was eighteen and according to Osborne, had '...never had a rest. Though other men come and go home again, Stanhope goes on sticking it month in, month out.' This shows that Stanhope is committed to his work, and would never go away from his duty. ...read more.

Middle

Raleigh has just asked Stanhope why he drinks so much, and Stanhope says 'To forget, you little fool. To forget!' This quote shows the anger he had when he drank, and the love he felt for Osborne. The repetition of the words 'to forget' bring out the emphasis that he is desperately trying to get across to Raleigh that he doesn't want to be reminded of the ordeal any longer, and that he should just try and forget himself. Whereas Stanhope was a veteran at war, James Raleigh had only just arrived. Raleigh was young, inexperienced and fairly na�ve of what happened in the trenches. He had family in the army, especially in higher places. Like his uncle, 'General Raleigh'. He also had family friends such as his sister's near-to fianc�, Stanhope. Raleigh idolises Stanhope and sees him as a figure to follow. In a conversation with Osborne, Osborne says that Stanhope is a 'splendid chap.' Raleigh, it seems, to blurt out 'isn't he! He was a skipper at Rugger at Barford, and kept wicket for the eleven. A jolly good bat, too.' In this it is clear that he isn't just showing the fact that Stanhope was good at sport, but overemphasising the love he sees for him. 'Isn't he!' He uses the fact he has family in the army to get in to Stanhope's battalion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead, he fakes and illness. After '3 months... he's decided he's done his bit. He's decided to go home and spend the rest of the war in comfortable nerve hospitals.' The "neuralgia" he has got 'takes away his appetite'. You can tell he is only putting it on, and not being in real pain, because he keeps going on about it to try and get the point across. 'I'm damn sorry to keep going on about it, Stanhope.' But Stanhope isn't taking any of it. Instead he is civil to Hibbert, and plays along with the act Hibbert is putting on. But when Hibbert leaves the scene Stanhope's character changes completely. This is where we can tell the real Hibbert. Stanhope refers to him as 'another little worm trying to wiggle his way home.' We see that Hibbert fellow officers see him as a cowardly man, who tries to get home by putting on illnesses. The three characters in the play are very different, and all react in very different ways to the strain of war. Be that taking to drink, trying to forge an illness and go 'down the line' or maturing and getting on with your job without complaint or question. It all shows that the pressure the war had on people was tremendous, and a lot of nerves were broke during those few years. Joe Jelley 10AE ...read more.

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