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GCSE: RC Sheriff
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However it is also clear that there is an underlying tension in the unnerving stillness of the atmosphere at this moment in the play. The men coping with their fears through trivial matters are contrasted with Hibbert, whose fears are not so well concealed. It is at this point that Stanhope's caring personality and good leadership skills are visible, when he gets water for Hibbert and sends Mason up to keep him company. The more we empathise with Stanhope, the greater the tragedy when he is killed.
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However, this view is opposed by Osborne, who argues that '[Stanhope's] experience alone make him worth a dozen men.' It is obvious to the audience that Osborne holds Stanhope in high regard. These differing views make the audience believe that Stanhope is an immature man, who is always drunk, although this is proved to be far from the truth when the viewer meets Stanhope. He is revealed as an admirable leader of his company and a brave man. Mini Plan A selection of quotations from different characters that build a picture of Stanhope before he is introduced to the audience: 'How is the dear young boy?
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Osborne and Trotter have been working in different jobs for a while before being drafted whereas Stanhope and Raleigh came straight from school into the officer's life. Not much is known about trotter as he is not talked about much in the story but it is my assumption that he was also from a private school. Osborne and Trotter were both drafted as officers because of their professions; they are both regarded highly in society. Stanhope and Raleigh however were drafted as officers because of the professions of family members, Stanhope's father is a vicar and Raleigh's uncle is a senior officer, meaning he is most likely from a military background.
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He opens with Hardy singing a song, "One and Two, it's with Maud and Lou...", which also shows that some parts are unrealistic and not showing a war the way we all know a war to be like. The first two characters we are introduced with are Hardy and Osborne. Hardy is the incompetent, casual and good humoured soldier which brings the hilarity and light hearted side of war to the audience's attention. Osborne on the other hand is the opposite from Hardy.
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The contrast between Hardy's and Osborn's thoughts of Stanhope as a company leader dramatically increases the suspense before the main character is eventually introduced to the audience. The Osbourne, Raleigh dialogue portrays further information on the character of Stanhope. It is established that at school Stanhope was a severe disciplinarian, being particularly hard on younger boys who smoked cigarettes and drunk whisky. The introduction of Stanhope and the officer's first meal together serves to establish various details in the stage direction about Stanhope's physical appearance and a number of contrasts are suggested: he is strong and broad shouldered but 'no more than a boy'; He is good looking but 'dark shadows can be licensed under his eyes'.
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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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Fearing Raleigh will be disgusted with what he has become, and write back to his sister (Whom Stanhope is in love with), Stanhope begins to hate and loathe Raleigh, with apparently no reason. Screaming at Raleigh and trying to censor his letters becomes the norm in the dugout. With an offensive from the "Boche" expected, British forces attempt to fend of the German troops off. During the attack, Raleigh is hit in the back with shrapnel. Here we see a much more gentle Stanhope, almost weeping as he lovingly cares for the dieing Raleigh.
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Each character has different dialogue to each other to typify their characters and to distinguish them apart. The characters also have different styles of language that provides various elements to the play. Although the play is of a deeply profound nature, the play has vital outlets of comic relief which is displayed through the characters in the play. The stage notes throughout the play show the simple, atmospheric style the Sherriff uses in describing the aspects of the play. The very start of the play which describes the set, and the situation for the whole play, tunes the audience into the tone of the scene.
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What were Sheriff's aims in writing 'Journey's End' and how successful was he in achieving those aims?
This is an anti war story and it is trying to convey peace to the audience. As well as entertaining us, he provides a moral message of peace. There is also a personal touch to the play, as this is reality as seen by him. He manages to provide a social and moral message. In order to achieve these aims he uses literary and dramatic features. Journey's End is set in 1918 when the German army was preparing a massive attack against the allies once again.
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Baldrick is known to make amazing substitutions for food items that are no longer available in the trenches, such as using dirt to make coffee, and saliva for a milk substitute. He may sound disgusting, but he is hilarious and lovable too. Blackadder is not very keen on going over the top and dying, and so he spends most of his time attempting to avoid going out into the field against the Germans. Thwarting Blackadder's goal are the loud, dimwitted General Melchett (Steven Fry) and his "office boy", Captain Darling (Tim McInnerny), who is determined to stop him from escaping.
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What were Sheriff's aims in writing 'Journey's End' and how successful was he in achieving those aims?
All the characters have the 'war fever', they don't like living this way for too long, they are all frightened and would prefer being home with their families. We can see the fear clearly in the character of Hibbert when he says to Stanhope "Go on, then, shoot! You won't let me go to hospital. I swear I'll never go in those trenches again. Shoot! - and thank God -" One of Sheriff's main aims was to entertain the audience.
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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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There are many aspects of Stanhope which rightfully award him the status of being a hero. The audience is first introduced to the possibility of Stanhope being a hero when we first meet Raleigh. A keen and un-experienced officer, Raleigh forces himself into Stanhope's battalion. Stanhope was Raleigh's hero ever since high school, and when he joins the company he expects to some extent that Stanhope would be the same. "You know, Raleigh, you mustn't expect to find him - quite the same," Osborne tells Raleigh that Stanhope isn't the same now. Even though there are some conflicts between Raleigh and Stanhope through out the play, the audience don't see Raleigh changing his mind about Stanhope being a hero.
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He writes clues in a book which he carelessly leaves for his father to find. His father asks him to stop with his silly investigation and removes the book from Christopher's possession. While Christopher is looking around his fathers bedroom for the confiscated book, he discovers several hidden letters in a shirt box in his fathers wardrobe, after reading just a few he starts to wonder about the mysterious way in which his father prevented him from visiting his mother in hospital.
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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 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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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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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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But this movie has made me think. This movie really coveys the true meaning of inner journey, to me journey really means to travel, but the inner journey involves the exploration of the self, their mind and spirit. The poem 'The Road not taken' by Robert frost was written in 1914 when frost went to visit his family friends in England. The poem uses simple languages so explore complex ideas and issues, the concept of inner journey was used to metaphorically represent the basic choices in life that all people face regardless of time or place.
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"Towards dawn, the candles are no longer burning." Mason is framed in the doorway against the very lights. "There comes the rasp of a striking match-a tiny flame- and a candle gleams." Mason the wakes Stanhope up. This depicting the way he is breaking the tension from the previous night's argument and how he is lightening the mood, be it with a hot cup of tea or with his tactful handling of Hibbert later on. In "Journey's End" the lighting is very important because it outlines what kind of mood different parts of the scene are.
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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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The captain Stanhope is nearly going insane but coping only with the help of whiskey, Stanhope is a tragic hero. Another officer Hibbert is close to breaking yet is carrying on due to the continuous bullying from the captain. There is an older wiser officer Osborne is like a father figure to the other officers especially Stanhope. Another officer Trotter continually provides humour he is also very lazy but loyal. A new officer enters the company Raleigh who was a school friend of Stanhope and feels heroism to him.
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She whispered, "I want to go home, I want to go home." Having that, Sarah took the girl into their van and carried on travelling. The trio were asking the distraught girl what happened. She muttered under her breath "he's killed them all." Then she pulled a black gun from under her blouse and put it into her mouth. The whole group shouted "NNNOOO" and then all of a sudden, it all went silent. The girl had pulled the trigger.
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Journey's End is a story told from the front line by the soldiers. The irony of Journey's End is the way it is set at the front line but we are faced with the mundane and passive elements of battle. The soldiers in Journey's End talk about every topic but the war. Whereas in Regeneration soldiers are encouraged to work through their horrors via therapeutic conversation with River's. One horror men are faced with which is mostly apparent in R but also in Journey's End: how men fear their masculinity being challenged or even being emasculated.
- Word count: 1046