• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Journey's End - How do the key scenes present a dramatic demonstration of R.C Sherriff(TM)s views on comradeship and heroism in World War One?

Extracts from this document...


"Journeys End" by R.C Sherriff 20th century Drama Coursework Literature How do these key scenes present a dramatic demonstration of R.C Sherriff's views on comradeship and heroism in World War One? In 1928, ten years after the ceasefire of World War One, dubbed as "the war to end all wars", the author R.C Sherriff wrote his most famous play "Journeys End" which reflected his personal experience in the involvement as an officer in the battles of Ypres. The play is set in the British dugout in St Quentin, Northern France. R.C Sherriff shows that war isn't at all glorious and splendid as the press made it out to be, and that it is in fact careless, unnecessary and violent. The first scene that I have chosen to support my answer with is in act 3, page 78, from the Colonel saying "all right sergeant major" until the end of the scene. This extract contains a dialogue between the Colonel, Raleigh, Stanhope and Sergeant-Major. As soon as this key scene begins, the Colonel shows the sense of authority and respect between him and the enemy German Prisoner. The German's actions at the end of his interrogation ('the German boy, calm now, bows stiffly to the Colonel and goes away'.) shows that the soldiers don't really want to fight with each other and that comradeship and heroism is found often in both sides of the war. The Colonel is clearly very pleased with the capture of the German boy as he mutters "splendid" to himself whilst reading through the Germans paybook and he also compliments Stanhope on his performance even though he had nothing to do with the German soldiers capture. Stanhope is appalled by the way the Colonel is happy without even discussing events with him; "Stanhope has given one look of astonishment at the Colonel and strolled past him. He turns at the table and speaks in a dead voice." ...read more.


Raleigh was probably thinking of what he should do and if he should be submissive towards Stanhope. Raleigh apologizes for offending Trotter and Hibbert but still does not realize the effect that Osborne's death has had on Stanhope as we can see in the line, "his hand trembles so violently that he can scarcely take the cigar between his teeth" This may also be because of the fact that he is angry, but this also shows his depression, that he cannot cope without Osborne. When Raleigh is caught staring at Stanhope he shows that he is horrified at the way Stanhope has changed after the loss of his companions. Stanhope then continues his fury by murmuring "What are you looking at?" Stanhope must be furious if he asks that he is not allowed to have eye contact by Raleigh, this proves that Stanhope is clearly the dominant character in this argument. Raleigh remains defeated and defenceless as he lowers his head and sighs "Nothing." But he is hiding his feelings from Stanhope and doesn't hold it for much longer, Raleigh is pretty much underestimating the situation here because he still treats Stanhope as he would have done before the war. When Raleigh blurts out his feelings, "I'm awfully sorry, Dennis, if - if I annoyed you by coming to your company" Stanhope is taken aback by this, he doesn't know how to respond and ends up saying that he is a 'damn fool', Stanhope is put on the spot as Raleigh is right because as soon as Raleigh joined Stanhope, he never wanted him in his company because he was frightened about his partner finding out about his drink problem which may be suggested that Stanhope isn't a great hero. Raleigh still doesn't understand the anger of Stanhope as he declines an order to eat his dinner, "I'm not hungry, thanks." This upsets Stanhope a great deal more than he already was. ...read more.


Stanhope goes to get Raleigh a candlelight, but when he returns he finds that Raleigh is not responding, Stanhope, who assumes that Raleigh is dead, is feeling shocked. Outside of the dugout, you can hear the opposition causing more mayhem than before. Stanhope's time with Raleigh is almost over, as a private soldier comes rushing in and asks if he can come urgently for Trotter. Stanhope's silenced astonishment with Raleigh means that he waits to hear a second time to hear the order. His last contact with Raleigh is giving his hair a tussle, this symbolizes that Stanhope has always cared for Raleigh and looks at him as a member of his family. Stanhope the walks slowly to his duty, which shows how heroic Stanhope is when it comes to doing his job away leaving Raleigh and the candlelight. Shells hit the dugout and it caves in, stabbing out the candlelight which R.C Sherriff used to represent the devastating death of Raleigh and the abrupt end to the play. The last sentence 'Very faintly there comes the dull rattle of machine guns and the fevered spatter of rifle fire' is very important because it shows you that the war carries on even after the end of the play, and that there were thousands of places just like this. In conclusion I feel R.C Sherriff wanted to dispel the myths surrounding World War One, so that everyone would understand what really happened and how the officers and soldiers really felt and how their relationships developed. Sherriff showed that to fight in a war, you have to be mentally strong and prepared. After the 'war to end all wars' there was a bad time in the country where people were soon suspicious about the soldiers of the war and if it was really necessary for all of those men to die, Sherriff wanted people to believe that every man did their duty and died heroically. The way Sherriff constructs this to fit into a play is masterful and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his book. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE RC Sheriff section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE RC Sheriff essays

  1. Critical Evaluation - "The Journey of the Magi" - T. S. Eliot.

    Lastly, the "empty wine skins" represent the Last Supper of Christ and the Apostles. The arrival of the Magi at the stable seems to only be "satisfactory" experience for the poet, as it seems that he disapproves of the Messiah being born in a stable.

  2. Explore the different ways that Sherriff reveals courage to the audience?

    The audience would admire his strength and courageousness, and his ability to show the other men that it is possible to get through the war, whilst all the time he was experiencing the same torment that the other men were facing.

  1. Act one of Journey's End.

    the earwigs and other things this temporarily helps the soldiers to forget about the war by taking their minds elsewhere, Hardy's purpose in Journey's End is to provide a hearty character that finds everything funny, and he tries to enjoy himself by making the best of a bad situation and

  2. Journeys End. Act 2 begins with a feeling of hope. Trotter has comical conversation ...

    It also further shows the audience how the German army is just like the British. Sheriff displays the effect of war on Stanhope, 'D'you ever get a sudden feeling that everything's going farther and farther away-till you're the only thing in the world'.

  1. Write about the presentation of Stanhope's relationship with Raleigh in Act Two Scene One, ...

    Stanhope doesn't want his family finding out that he can't cope, as he wouldn't feel like a real man. He knows he has a problem with drinking, and that he would never be accepted back into his hometown if he was exposed and, in his eyes, Raleigh poses a threat to this, 'exposure', making Stanhope paranoid.

  2. Journeys End Drama Studies

    We are unsure of whether or not Stanhope will yell at Osborne, or Raleigh, or let the whole thing pass smoothly. As I have said before, Stanhope is worried about Raleigh and the ties he has back home. The tension is very high at this point because we can see Stanhope feeling guilty and struggling to hide from Raleigh.

  1. Discuss how R.C.Sherriff manages to describe the horrific effects of war on different soldiers ...

    It's like trading souls or playing chess the small is captured but the big dies. Hibbert, the last character whom we noticed that war affected him because we experienced that he is faking his sickness. We didn't know much about him before the war, but through reading the play we can clearly state his personality and how war affected him.

  2. How does Sherriff introduce the characters of Raleigh, Stanhope and Osborne in Act I ...

    This makes the audience unsure of what Stanhope?s character will be like when he is introduced in person. A significant thing we learn from both men is that Stanhope has a quick temper and was Draconian at school, especially on the boys who drank whisky but we know from Hardy

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work