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In what ways does R.C Sherriff re-create for his audience the over whelming stress and fear suffered by the men at the Front. Do all characters react on the same way? How does each individual cope with the nightmares of trench warfare?

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Introduction

English Course Work Stanhope. I was looking across the Boche trenches and right beyond- not a sound, not a soul; just an enormous plain, all churned up, like a sea that's got muddier and muddier until its so stiff that it cant move. You could have heard a pin drop in the quiet; yet you new thousands of guns where hidden there, already cleaned and oiled- millions of bullets lying in pouches- thousands of Germans waiting and thinking. In what ways does R.C Sherriff re-create for his audience the over whelming stress and fear suffered by the men at the Front. Do all characters react on the same way? How does each individual cope with the nightmares of trench warfare? On many occasions throughout the book of the play of "Journeys End", Sherriff uses methods to re-create the overwhelming stress of trench warfare. He describes every aspect of the trenches, the guns and the whole life. With this understanding of the trenches, the audience are helped in imagining what it must have been like to live there. In the play, all the narrative writing in the book has had to have been left out. Instead the directors must rely more on the acting and the scenery, which is not to do with Sherriff's work and vision. ...read more.

Middle

He has resorted to drink to rid him of his nerves and when he is under the influence of it, he feels less scarred and can deal with the stress around him although maybe not the people. It states throughout the book that his nerves were threadbare and though drink may have been the course of this, it helped him ease those feelings for short periods of time. However when he was drunk his behaviour diminished and his short temper shortened even more causing many arguments throughout the campaign. He is one the verge of a breakdown and welcomes drink open armed. The other noticeable way in which Stanhope deals with the stress is through companionship in which he shares a strong bond with Osborne, the senior officer, second to Stanhope. I believe Stanhope sees Osborne as a father figure and on many occasions throughout the book seeks his advice. This helps Stanhope greatly in reducing the stress while also enabling him to let his feelings flow out, having to keep them contained in front of others. He also often asks advice from Osborne on various occasions thus reducing the stress of command. Osborne deals with the stress in different ways to Stanhope. ...read more.

Conclusion

Raleigh shows little signs of stress at the begging, which may be because he has not served for a lengthy period of time. When he comes back from the raid he seems to be in severe shock. He mourns Osborne's death and now more than ever he seeks solitude, staying with the troops in the open air rather than in the claustrophobic air of the dugout. Towards the end of the book he re introduces Stanhope as an inspiration and tries to please him in many ways. Raleigh uses Stanhope has an idle to get him through the stress. The other way in which he looks to avoid the stress is by sending letters to his family, and having general conversations like the one with Osborne where Raleigh finds out Osborne played rugby for England. Other generalised ways in which the men in the book deal with the stress is through patriotism. Frequent jokes are made about the Germans and many of the troops, including officers only stay and fight because they feel the Germans are doing the world an injustice. Many of the men believe they are fighting for the safety of Britain and their families. The silence of the war is frequently mentioned throughout the book and many of the men gather in unity and sing songs to banish the quiet. Henry Wallace ...read more.

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