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Journey's end - Focusing on the exchange between Stanhope and Hibbert in act two, consider how R.C Sheriff presents the comradeship felt by the men fighting in the 1st World War.

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Introduction

GCSE English coursework 'Journey's end' by R.C Sheriff Comradeship is a special kind of bond partly imposed by the constant threat of death and mutilation; it is more than mere friendship. Focusing on the exchange between Stanhope and Hibbert in act two, consider how R.C Sheriff presents the comradeship felt by the men fighting in the 1st World War. On the 4th August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Germany had dishonoured the Belgian treaty of neutrality. Millions of British men and younger boys volunteered for war, it later became compulsory for British citizens. The play I am studying is 'journey's end', written by the English novelist R.C Sheriff. He was born in 1896 and served as an officer in the East Surrey regiment. Journey's end is based upon some of Sheriff's real-life experiences, highlighting the comradeship between the soldiers in the trenches. Of all Sheriff's plays and films, Journey's end seems to have become the most remembered. In 1928, the anniversary of the armistice, a huge flood of memoirs and recollections of peoples experiences at war. This included stories, plays and a huge number of poems written by men from the trenches. Novels speaking of all the horrors of war and the treacherous conditions became coming about when in 1928 people started to become disillusioned about the peace. This came about after in 1919, everyone was speaking of having won the 'war to end all wars'. ...read more.

Middle

(Act two, page 55) Hibbert can still see that Stanhope is not going to back down, so this time he tries a violent approach towards Stanhope. As Hibbert tries to walk off behind Stanhope, Stanhope thrusts him against a wall. Quickly, Hibbert reacts and raises his stick to Stanhope, who grabs it and breaks it across his knee. Hibbert is bewildered, Stanhope reacts fiercely and Hibbert again, pleads with Stanhope, 'Let me go-.' (Act two, page 56) From Hibberts use of language, you can tell that he is a very scared man. He has pleaded, and demanded that Stanhope should let him go. He even goes to the extreme of nearly being shot to escape the treacherous conditions. As for the stage directions, they also show the scared and weary attitude of Hibbert. Words like 'hysterically' and 'pleadingly' show the emotion Hibbert is experiencing. Before the incident where he tries to strike Stanhope, the stage direction shows that he walks slowly behind Stanhope. This proves that he is a very timid character who is very scared. Stanhope is a very different character to Hibbert, he is able to hide his emotions, whereas Hibbert always shows how he feels. Stanhope is also very clever, he knows when Hibbert is 'trying to pull the wool over his eyes.' When Hibbert tells Stanhope about his neuralgia, he realises what Hibbert is up to and cuts in sharply with, 'I know. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many events happen along the way that portrays the intended impression of each character. R.C Sheriff cleverly uses these events to present the theme of comradeship. Mainly fall-outs and deaths occur which bring the seven men closer together each time. The most comradeship is displayed throughout the play from Stanhope. He shows good leadership to his men and is always there for him. The thing that makes him stand out more as showing comradeship to the men, is because he himself is under great pressure. For example, he shows great comradeship to Hibbert right before the raid. He is under great pressure, thinking about the forthcoming raid. R.C Sheriff successfully presents the theme of comradeship in the play, comradeship is one of the main themes of the play, and it helps to add to the realistic theme of the play. At war, comradeship is the one thing that keeps the men together. 'Journey's end' is a good re-creation of men in the trenches. From 'journey's end,' I have learned a lot about the treachery of war. The treacherous conditions, which the men had to endure, sometimes can seem quite distressing. I have also learned from this play, about how comradeship keeps the men so close together. It keeps the men from the verge of insanity, and keeps their will to live. The comradeship also gives some of the men something to live for, they're other comrades, in the same position as one and another. ...read more.

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