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Explain what Osborne means to Stanhope and how is this shown in the play

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Introduction

"The one man I could trust - my best friend - the one man I could talk to as man to man - who understood everything." Explain what Osborne means to Stanhope and how is this shown in the play. Throughout the play, Stanhope is portrayed as a great leader, and a General who every one looks up to. Although he is shown as a very strong character, he is still very young and in such a hard environment, even he needs someone he can rely on. This role is fulfilled by Osborne, the kindly, old, second in command. Osborne helps all those in the dug out, but his relationship with Stanhope seems to be on a much more personal level. Osborne is Stanhope's only support through his ordeal in the war; he is the only one in the dugout with whom Stanhope is open enough with to share his inner most thoughts and feelings. This is shown in the incident when Stanhope shows Osborne the picture of Raleigh's sister, and reveals that "She is waiting for [him]-and she doesn't know." Through these words, we can see that Stanhope fully trusts Osborne, and knows that he will not be judged for anything he admits. This bond of trust, feeling of unconditional acceptance, and knowledge that Osborne is always there for him is what helps keep Stanhope sane and rational through the play. ...read more.

Middle

Along with the strains of war, Stanhope cannot cope with his sudden addiction to drink, and he starts to hate himself for it. Due to his self-loathing, Stanhope needs someone to reassure him that his state is only due to the strains of the war. His lack of confidence is evident in his fear of mixing home life and his life in the trenches. He is very apprehensive about what Raleigh will think of him, and how he will react to the changed Stanhope that he will encounter in the trenches in comparison to the "skipper of Rugger at Barford". He is very worried that Raleigh will write to his sister to whom Stanhope is not "officially engaged" and tell her about the Stanhope he can see in the trenches, the drunkard. And because of his neurotic self-hatred he feels constantly threatened as he thinks that everyone thinks the worst of him. He does not realise that his men see past his drinking habits and they "simply love him" and respect him for his courage, and sense of duty. In the exchange when Stanhope reveals his misgivings about Raleigh, Osborne comforts Stanhope and tries to help him rationalise his fears about Raleigh. His fatherly side emerges here again in his abating of Stanhope's fears and insecurities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stanhope, the harsh, reserved, duty minded captain, only becomes the young twenty-two year old boy that he is, in the presence of Osborne. He feels that he can be himself without fear of his authority being undermined due to Osborne's unwavering commitment to him. Stanhope feels secure enough to reveal that he too has someone waiting for him, like the millions of other young men in the trenches. He shows that he too is vulnerable and weak, like all of the others. Stanhope respects Osborne, and treats him, not as a second in command, but as an equal. Osborne is very attached to Stanhope, and cares a great deal about him. Being a schoolmaster, he understands the problems Stanhope has to bear at his very young age, and tries to support him. Stanhope and Osborne have a friendship and trust that is unparalleled in the dugout. Their friendship is based on mutual trust, acceptance and respect. There is an unconditional bond of care and affection between them, which is impregnable. Osborne expresses his obvious devotion of Stanhope when he say tells Hardy that "I love that fellow. I'd go to hell with him." It is highly ironic, that at the end, Osborne does go to a "hell" for Stanhope in making that raid and dieing, for him. [SS1]Not well put [SS2]What is the contrast being made? ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 3 06/10/2004 to 15/07/200822/03/2006 JOURNEY'S END SHIVANI SINGHAL BUTLER-LVV ENGLISH-MR. FORBES ...read more.

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