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How does Sherriff introduce the characters of Raleigh, Stanhope and Osborne in Act I of Journeys End?

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Alvin Nelson 9V1 Mrs Fletcher 27/6/12 How does Sherriff introduce the characters of Raleigh, Stanhope and Osborne in Act I of Journey?s End? Journey?s End was a drama first performed in 1928. It became increasingly popular and was very successful. It had all the ingredients to make it a dramatic success but the primary one was the introduction of clear characters in Act I. We hear about Stanhope?s character for the first time in the conversation between Hardy and Stanhope. Hardy makes a reference to his alcoholism by stating: ?Drinking like a fish?. This simile shows how much Stanhope and gives the audience a primary insight into Stanhope?s character. This dialogue develops his character further, as Hardy jokes about Stanhope?s behaviour; Osborne defends him, saying he?s the ?best company commander we?ve got?. This shows us the character of Stanhope ? a heavy drinker but also a good company commander. We also pick up a few details about the character of Stanhope - he has never rested, his nerves ?have got battered to bits? and he is finicky over the state of the trenches. This shows us the nature of Stanhope ? he is determined and favours a neat and tidy regime but his spirit has evidently shattered. Also, it is important to note that there are different and conflicting views about Stanhope which makes his character more mysterious and puzzling ? Osborne says ?his experience alone ...read more.


His attire is ?well cut? and ?cared for? and his dark hair is ?carefully brushed?. This shows how immaculate he is as a person and it coincides with the fact that he desires a neat and tidy place. This point elucidates Hardy?s desire in the first dialogue to leave instead of staying because Stanhope instantly criticises his untidy regime, saying it is ?perfectly foul?. Furthermore, Stanhope calls for a bottle of whisky: ?Damn the soup! Bring some whisky!? This shows his growing alcoholism as he seems quite and direct in his way of ordering for the whisky. This may also be linked to his state of mind ? he is angry about the state of the trenches and wants the whisky to suppress his feelings because we know that he can lose control over himself, as stated in the first dialogue. Moreover, the stage direction which accompanies this is significant. Stanhope calls for the whisky whilst ?taking a cigarette from his case and lighting it?. As we know from the dialogue between Osborne and Raleigh that Stanhope was particularly hard on boys who smoke and drank whisky, this shows how much he has changed from being ?frightfully down? on smoking and drinking whisky to drinking whisky and smoking. This immense alteration shows the audience that Stanhope must have gone through a lot of bad times to turn to the poisons he was against before. ...read more.


This transition, from being nervous at the start to confidently talking is important to note. Raleigh seems energetic and enthusiastic that he has found himself in Stanhope?s company, which suggests that he looks up to him, clarified by the statement: ?I was frightfully keen to get into Dennis?s regiment? However, when Osborne tries to persuade him that Stanhope has changed, Raleigh does not seem to understand, showing his blatant naivety. In the dialogue between Stanhope and Osborne, Stanhope is shown to be Raleigh?s hero. This is confirmed by Stanhope saying in a forthright manner: ?I?m his hero?. He is also shown to be a ?hero worshipper?. This is illustrated in this dialogue ? Osborne states that Raleigh seems to ?think a lot? about Stanhope and that Raleigh will ?go on liking? him. This suggests that Raleigh has come to war just because of Stanhope. The purpose of Raleigh?s character is to show the normal energetic, young soldier and the effect his character has is that a young soldier?s naivety may be good or bad. The character of Osborne is first introduced in the first part of the play. He is described as ?tall?, ?forty five? and ?hard as nails? with ?iron-grey hair?. This suggests that Osborne is a rather old man, for he has ?grey hair? which symbolises old age and he is ?forty five?. He seems to be an experienced soldier, being so old, and he is ?hard as nails? which indicates his frame. ...read more.

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