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In Journey's End we follow the character of Raleigh for a very good reason. Raleigh is the inexperienced new boy figure

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Introduction

In what ways does the writer use the character of Raleigh in this play? In Journey's End we follow the character of Raleigh for a very good reason. Raleigh is the inexperienced new boy figure, thrust into a public school dormitory that has undergone a foul mutation at the hands of the great war. The characters have adapted to their more than difficult situation and have become entangled in their public school roots as a solace from the violence of the conflict. The charcters are so lost within these roles that it takes the addition of a fresh faced character with a name synonymous with exploration to give us a glimpse into their lives. The play sets each charcter up nicely and we are encouraged to liken Raleigh to a "new boy" figure, as he seems to be the subject of much banter, curiosity, and judjement from the other officers. ...read more.

Middle

His death leads the boys fatherless, and confused. Stanhope represents the school hero, head boy and his main concern is whether he appears as a good person to others (the men and his lady). Just as Oswald has his rabbit hole, and Trotter his food Stanhope escapes to a world of whisky. Frequently shown as his method for dealing with unwanted emotions, he repeatedly offers the other characters alcohol during trying times, most notably Oswald before the raid. Despite this crutch he shows great, if somehwhat dictatory power over the men. Raleighs entrance into the trench is so troubling to Stanhope because like all great heroes he is concerned with image. This new entrant threatens his relationships at home as well as his one with the men. The introduction of Raleigh can be seen very much as a "sobering up" of life in the trenches. ...read more.

Conclusion

Similarly Oswald is forced to leave his reasoned, articulate fantasy world behind in the grim reality of the raid. We feel sympathy for him as he desperately clings on to the New Forest moments before he is required to shoot to kill. We also see Trotter settle for a sandwhich as the last thing he does before his death in the trenches. Gone are the cooked meals with knives and forks that he can cricicise to take his mind off things- enter the finger food. The cook leaves his kitchen, stepping out of his role as a meal provider and into the unfamiliar yet required role of a soldier. Perhaps most interestingly we see Raleigh loose his role as an explorer, and a new-boy as the raid soils his thinking, he becomes a muddy faced veteran like all the others and looses his crutch, his claim to innocence, and he too meets his journeys end. ...read more.

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