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GCSE: RC Sheriff
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- Marked by Teachers essays 2
One way in which Sherriff portrays the condition of the trenches is via general conversation. Idle chit-chat about the war shows they have acclimatized, quite rapidly, to their deadly situation. For example: Osborne: Where do the men sleep? Hardy: I don't know. The sergeant-major sees to that. (He points off to the left.) The servants and signallers sleep in there. Two officers in here, and three in there. (He points to the right-had tunnel.) That's if you've got five officers. The men were sleeping in dug-out tunnels but they dealt with it. The set is designed with directions such as "a few rough steps leading to the trench above".
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Journey's End - How do the key scenes present a dramatic demonstration of R.C Sherriff(TM)s views on comradeship and heroism in World War One?
He turns at the table and speaks in a dead voice." His hero, Osborne has been killed tragically, and Stanhope is too mournful to think about his own heroic efforts. He then says sarcastically; "How awfully nice - if the brigadier's pleased." This tells you that Stanhope is trying to make the Colonel feel embarrassed with irony. The Colonel, who has been brought back into reality stares at Stanhope in bemusement before suddenly collecting himself and stuttering; "Oh - er - what about the raiding-party - are they all safely back?"
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This scene is the part where Raleigh is first introduced to Osborne, the company and to the audience. From the talk between Osborne and Hardy a few moments earlier, the audience has already learned of Stanhope's problems and two different opinions of him. This creates dramatic tension within the audience as this new character sounds exciting and thrilling. It is clear to see that this character will contribute interest to the play. However the tension is greatly increased when we meet Raleigh, and his perceptions of Stanhope. Raleigh is living off the good memories he has of Stanhope when they were young.
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"The impact of journeys is felt by both individuals and the group. No-one can escape the impact of a journey". Discuss
Peter Skrzynecki's Immigrant Chronicle (containing the three poems Postcard, Leaving Home, A Drive in the Country) is an autobiographical exploration of the impacts Skrzynecki's polish and Ukrainian heritage and the immigrant experience had on him and the migrants as a whole. The representation of the Skrzynecki family in the poems in Immigrant chronicle is both specific to them and, to a large extent, to migrants in general. It examines the migrant experience as a physical journey. Skrzynecki reflects on his life and its impacts, whilst in many circumstances showing how these challenges have altered his attitudes.
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Compare and Contrast the Presentation of the Psychological Effects of the WarAnd the Setting on Stanhope, Osborne and Raleigh in 'Journey's End', andHilliard and Barton in 'Strange Meeting'
Sherriff similarly presents a believable representation of relationships formed between certain stereotypes conveyed. Sherriff's strong anti-war attitude in 'Journey's End' is obvious through his detailed descriptions of the psychological effects that the War had on his characters. Sherriff served in the First World War and is likely to have based the events of the play on his experiences. Hill depicts a believable portrayal of the effect that conditions had on the men involved, due to the meticulous research she carried out prior to constructing the novel.
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In what ways does R.C.Sherriff re-create for his audience the tremendous stress and fear suffered by men at the front line
Although there are obstacles there are also many things that can be done to achieve the treacherous effect of the trenches-the atmosphere being one of these. We would expect it to be intensely dark, cramped and intimidating so a confined area, candles and faint lighting would be used. In real-life this would also give the soldiers a confused sense of time as the trench would be continually dim but in the audience itself a feeling of isolation would be created thus involving them on a higher level.
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This becomes apparent on page 9, where it is noted that Santiago "...could see in his father's gaze a desire to be able, himself, to travel the world - a desire that was still alive..." Although Santiago's father wishes his son to become a priest, he can see a reflection of himself within Santiago's eyes and acts accordingly in order to fill those eyes with satisfaction. Similarly, Santiago looks within his father and can clearly see a path in life that he would surely loathe to follow suit.
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His drinking problem is highlighted throughout the play, ' Drinking as a fish as usual', (pg 4). He is seen as a workaholic, ' I've seen him on his back all day with trench fever - then on duty all night', (pg 6) and it seems as of he is not coping well at all, ' Lost control of himself; and the he - sort of - came to - and cried', (pg 6). Raleigh is a young officer, drafted out from England into commander Stanhope's infantry.
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In 'Journey's End', R. C. Sherriff presents a highly convincing and effective picture of the horrors of life in the trenches in World War 1.
These memoirs eventually (about eight years later) became the basis for R.C.Sherriff's first play, 'Journey's End'. After the war, R.C.Sherriff continued working for his father's business for several years as a claims adjuster. It was because of an interest in amateur theatricals amongst other reasons that R.C.Sherriff decided to try his hand at writing. After many rejections, 'Journey's End' was given a single Sunday evening performance by The Incorporated Stage Society, an amateur theatre company, in 1928. In 'Journey's End' debut performance, Laurence Olivier played Stanhope. The performance went so well; that G.B.Shaw was adamant that 'Journey's End' should be performed at the Savoy Theatre, London.
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I also think that the first act is very effective at setting the tone of the play. It successfully introduces us to all of the characters in succession and tells us a small part about their personal lives, their attire and their body language, personality and many other aspects that help us to get to know them. The audience's expectations of this play are wrong as they may think that this play focuses on fighting in the war, but instead it focuses on the mental/physical effects on a small group of soldiers, who are in turn symbolic of every soldier in WW1.
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Sheriff uses this significantly to his advantage. Another dramatic device which is employed heavily throughout the play is contrast. Contrast between the dugout and the outside world, contrast between home and the trenches. These all add extra impact to the scenes for the audience and engage them through their emotions and reactions. Sheriff uses the weather to this effect. He repeatedly sets the scene with "A pale shaft of sunlight shines down the steps, but candles still burn in the dark corner where Osborne and Raleigh are at breakfast" or similar, emphasising the contrast between the damp dugout the and pleasant weather outside.
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Journey's End: R.C Sherriff uses the characters in his play Journey's End to create tension and drama.
Hardy and Osborne provide an insight into Stanhope's personality. They continually fight over Stanhope's condition and how it will affect his judgement in running the company, in other words Stanhope's drinking problem. "How is the dear old boy still drinking like a fish... It must be pretty rotten for you, being his second in command and you such a quiet old thing." Osborne then quickly jumps in and defends Stanhope " He's a long way the best company commander we've ever got." and eventually Hardy backs down "Oh, I know ; he's a splendid chap!"
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Comparison of Ballad of the Bread Man and Innocents Song by Charles Causley and Journey of the Magi by T. S. Eliot
It reminds me personally of the story where Jesus shares out a small amount of bread between 5000 people. The bread is a symbol of Jesus' kindness and generosity that was so cruelly ignored. Charles Causley changes a lot of the facts of the story, without changing the moral and message. He uses words such as "newspaper", "TV", "election" that were obviously not present at the time of the original story. When reading the Bible version it is sometimes hard to think it was not set in a different world to the one today.
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During the point where Osborne and Hardy are talking to each other Hardy makes about three main points. The first is where he says "Don't have too much water, it's rather strong today". This shows that the water that they are drinking is treated which doesn't taste very nice. The second point that he makes is that he is glad that Osborne has come because Hardy has had enough. Osborne thinks that the area where he was was not as bad but Hardy tells him the truth that it was very dangerous which Osborne would probably worry about.
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