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GCSE: RC Sheriff
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- Marked by Teachers essays 2
In the play, this is the first thing that is mentioned. In the first scene, they are expecting Raleigh, and Osbourne takes a look around the dug-out. They do not have proper beds as they 'haven't got any bottoms to them'. The audience would have been shocked to hear this but would have been astouned by the amount of rats in the dug-out. The officers talk about the 'two million' rats as if it were the norm. Dramatic structure was very pragmatic in the play. Journey's End portrays this by having a big contrast between the beginning and the end.
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Captain Dennis Stanhope or Stanhope is the Captain Of C Company, the company that Osborne, Raleigh, Trotter and Hibbert are in. Stanhope has been in the army since he left school and is a very experienced officer and is said to be 'worth at least a dozen men', we also know that Stanhope has been through more in the war than some of the older and more experienced officers when Osborne says 'I haven't been through as much as you'.
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The play doesn't have any courageous battle scenes and huge explosions, a happy ending or a valiant death bed scene. Instead, the horrors of war are portrayed through the waiting and suspense of not knowing what was going to happen next and the way the characters would try to find security and comfort in any way possible. Fear and cowardice is shown a lot amongst the British soldiers in this play, which is very different from the usual courageous soldiers, ready for battle.
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Discuss the ways in which R.C Sheriff uses drama to convey the suffering of the soldiers on the Western Front during the Great War Journey's End is a play set in the Great War
To forget all the reality of war Stanhope drinks. He drinks excessively and this helps him to forget the pain that he is feeling. "Not a drunkard; just a-just a hard drinker; but you're quite right about his nerves. They are all to blazes." Even though most of the time he doesn't realise what he is doing, he hates himself for being this way; having to rely on alcohol to keep him sane. It is through the alcoholic factor of Stanhope's personality that Sheriff shows the suffering of the soldiers in the war.
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Write about the presentation of Stanhope's relationship with Raleigh in Act Two Scene One, Act Three Scene Two and Act Three Scene Three.
Raleigh really looks up to Stanhope and asked his Uncle to be sent to the same dugout as Stanhope. This probably isn't just because of his hero worship, but also to feel safe as Stanhope looked after and looked out for Raleigh when he was still a young boy at school. Act Two Scene 1 is a key scene that shows Stanhope has no trust in Raleigh at all. Raleigh has written a letter home to his sister and Stanhope assumes he has written about his drinking habits in, and he actually tries to censor his letter home.
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He therefore does not yet know about the dangers in war and living in the trenches. We therefore see no sense of fear in him, as he is totally unaware of the situation he is getting himself into. I am now going to explain the ways in which the characters in Journey's End interact and speak to each other, also through actions, while dealing with fear. Stanhope is one of the main characters that we see having to deal with fear the most. He is the one who is struggling, as we see him permanently stressed and worn out.
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Extract 1 (Pages 1-4) gives the audience the opportunity to understand the terrible conditions in which the characters lived. The characters engage in sarcastic banter as they can not afford to give into their true feelings towards the situation. Everyone does what they can to keep each others spirits up. The Director would need to enhance the horror of the mens' situation in the way that he sets the stage. The setting is a dug out in a trench during World War I.
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I think R.C.Sherrif uses five people with very different characteristics and emotions to show how different people cope with the stresses of the War. Act three scenes one and two offer the first dramatic parts in Journey's end. Most of the play up to this point is building up, conversation between the officers, with them building Raleigh's knowledge of what will happen during the big raid. At the beginning of Act three scene one the colonel comes to see if everything is ready.
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This direction is then continued to indicate the tone and mood when Raleigh and Osborne are waiting for the raid. The pauses and directions such as "deep breathes" make the last eight minutes tense for the audience and seem to be in somewhat real time. The most important technique I will focus on is the characters themselves and how powerful they appear. Even though Stanhope takes a major role in the play, soldiering on through the war without taking leave he is not the strongest character, I feel.
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This shows that he is very knowledgeable and experienced about the war and everything that is going on, but it also shows that he has been through an awful lot. The soldiers admire his determination and courage, for example, Osborne says, "Other men come over here and go home again ill, and young Stanhope goes on sticking in, month in month out." This reveals to the audience that Stanhope is very courageous and loyal to his fellow soldiers. The audience never doubt that Stanhope is a hero, but like many heroes he has a distinctly unpleasant side.
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It was obvious that now people wanted to hear the real details of what happened in the war. The amount of ways in which Sherriff portrays the realities of war are infinite, as every written word was another truth of existence as an officer in World War One. At the time when Sherriff had the first showing of his play 'Journey's End', war had been very glorified. Men were returning as heroes and propaganda was giving an artificial image of war. This play was one of the first that brought the authenticity of war home to the people.
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In what ways does R.C Sherriff re-create for his audience the over whelming stress and fear suffered by the men at the Front. Do all characters react on the same way? How does each individual cope with the nightmares of trench warfare?
However the directors of these plays have to get the scenery correct if they are going to make the audience understand the unbearable stress suffered by the soldiers. Sherriff gives good guidance to the directors in the large columns of narratives, which have already been mentioned. With these the directors can strategically set the scenery in certain position to gain maximum effect while also having the benefit of knowing what the stage is meant to look like adding to the overall effects. The main way in which Sherriff re-creates the stress of warfare is in his large chunks of narrative.
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Xury - The kid that he took with him escaping from Sallee River, he is hardworking it is shown when Crusoe save him he seemed to give a lot of help. Friday - was the servant whom the captain gave him to help him in his work, he is also hardworking. Laddie - his pet that he found at the ship after the storm, he was also brave, Summary: The novel of Robinson Crusoe was written by Daniel Defoe (1660 - 1731).
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The youngsters of today too are becoming more and more desensitised by watching violent films and TV programmes and seeing emotive images of starving children and eventually they become deadened to such things and they have no effect. This leads to children of today becoming complacent and less sympathetic. By watching the perseverance and tragedy of the men in "Journey's End", it will show them the hardships of those who fought for us and they will become more compassionate. The perceptions of war that children today have, are about lots of fighting and the glory of winning against Germany.
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This shows us that he can not live without alcohol. It plays a major role in his lifestyle. Stanhope was an eighteen-year-old who 'commanded this company for a year.' Now, he has been on the front line for 'nearly three years,' which tells us that he is a man of twenty-one. This is also tells us that he is very experienced as he is 'the best company commander.' He is popular and an astute man who is willing to maintain his popularity to the rest of the officers. Stanhope is a determined man who keeps his high expectations.
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Route 1: Bank to Leicester Square The route is 2.1 miles length. 1) 0800 on Tuesday 18 November 2003 Means of Transport Departures Arrivals Journey Time Interchanges Interchanges Station Price Transfer Time Underground 07:58 08:10 12 min 1 Holborn �1.60 3 min Underground 08:00 08:11 11 min 1 Tottenham �1.60 3 min Cycling 08:00 08:18 17 min - - - - Rail 07:58 08:28 30 min - not available - Bus + Underground 08:00 08:34 34 min 1 Westminster Abbey �1 2 min Cycling + Bus + Walking 07:58 08:31 33 min 1 Waterloo �1 7 min 0800 was one of the rush hour in Public Transport because people go to work.
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The last bottle! Why, damn it, we brought six!" He is able to admit to his drinking problems and why it is that he drinks so much: "if I went up those steps into the front line- without being doped with whisky- I'd go mad with fright" His drinking is no secret, all the men are aware of it and accept it, some of them even joke about it as well. "How is the dear young boy? Drinking like a fish, as usual?"
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Journey's end - Focusing on the exchange between Stanhope and Hibbert in act two, consider how R.C Sheriff presents the comradeship felt by the men fighting in the 1st World War.
This came about after in 1919, everyone was speaking of having won the 'war to end all wars'. One the most famous war films of all time was also released in this period - Erich Maria Remarque's 'All quiet on the western front' written in 1929. Famous wartime novelist Stigfried Sassoon also wrote a superb retake of being an officer at war name 'Memoirs of an infantry officer'. Journey's end was also written in this period, around 1928-9. In the trenches, the soldiers had to spend all the hours of the day living in treacherous conditions, life threatening filth and grime.
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Explain how much of the emotion in the play comes from the relationship between Raleigh and Stanhope, both of whom have the sympathy of the audience. What makes the barrier between them so poignant and how is it removed at the end?
"Besides, they are rusty, in any case' Also when Hardy says there are '34 gum boots' Osbourne replies (Osbourne) "That's seventeen pairs -" (Hardy) "Oh, no; 25 right leg and 9 left leg" Captain Hardy makes remarks about Stanhope doubting his ability as a commander of the company due to his excessive drink problem. (Hardy) "How is the dear young boy? Drinking like a fish, as usual?" (Osbourne) "Why do you say that?" (Hardy) "Well, damn it, it's just the natural thing to ask about Stanhope. Poor old man. It must be pretty rotten for you, being his second in command, and you such a quiet, sober old thing."
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The conditions are conveyed in great detail and they are introduced at the very beginning of the play with Hardy trying to dry his sock out over a candle in a dugout. Sometimes the men could not get dry for days and the condition known as trench foot took its name from an infection of the feet resulting from being constantly wet. Lice affected the soldiers very badly in the trenches. The soldiers were on duty at the front for six days and then got time off to rest and be de-loused.
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How does R.C Sherriff use dramatic devices to effectively recreate the horror and reality of the war upon the stage?
Unable to realistically create such horrors, R.C Sherriff has relied on alternative techniques and methods which focus on the mental torture and suffering of the men through techniques including were mainly, the lighting in the stage, the way the characters act in certain circumstances and how other characters attitude are towards them. In this assignment I have considered scene 3 in act 3 which ranges from page 92 to page 103. The particular reason for my choice is that this is in my opinion the most emotional scene in the play as it also includes the event where Raleigh dies after having an immensely deep conversation with Stanhope.
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Who and where are his ogres? Those are the reflections of the unsolved enigmas of his own humanity. What are his ideals? Those are the symptoms of his grasp of life." -- (Campbell, 121) Campbell's description of the journey or adventure of the hero strays from the generalized idea of a strong man fighting a dragon and saving a princess. Campbell says that the term hero exists in a very broad and general world, and it simply takes courage and intellect to discover one's own boundaries in this world.
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How does Sherriff involve the audience in his play 'Journey's end'? Comment on the dramatic effectiveness of setting, characters and plot.
The whole of the play was performed using only one stage set, the trench, which gives the audience a slight insight into how claustrophobic and prison like-conditions. Also the darkness of the dugout creates stress for the men, it makes it feel more tense and claustrophobic, the audience will be intrigued to see how the characters will survive under such harsh conditions. The whole play takes place between Monday night and Thursday dawn in March 1918, this creates tension because the play takes place over only a few short days.
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Journey's End was different, and therefore theatre managers didn't want to risk showing it, in case it was a failure. Many people thought R.C.Sherrif had written the play for political purposes, or to mock the government e.g. the way the raid was handled by the commanding officers. But it was written to give a tangible account of what the war was like, not from the ordinary soldiers point of view, but from the officers' point of view. The Minor Journeys Hibbert's journey is a rather dramatic one. It starts at the beginning of the play, with him complaining of neuralgia.
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"Journey's End" by R.C. Sherriff - A dramatic analysis of Act three, Scene one, showing how R.C Sherriff brings the raid to life and conveys the horror of war, despite the limitations of the stage.
They hope to cross seventy yards of no-mans land, and go through the German's wire fences. Their object is to see where the German troops are and to capture a couple of young Germans if possible. This is a very dangerous thing to do and Stanhope is worried. He would have prepared it to take place earlier in the afternoon during daylight. Stanhope glances anxiously at his watch, nineteen minutes to go. He shouts for Mason who is his servant and therefore has a separate dugout.
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