• 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. Journey's End- Captain Stanhope Character Study

    that he is not only admired by the officers but the ordinary soldiers also, it shows that Stanhope has care for all of the soldiers and he doesn't judge based on rank. This gives us a broader picture of Stanhope, and he is still admired by all, making it even clearer what an admirable character he is.

  2. Journeys End

    Light is commonly referred to as a symbol of life and as it slowly dims it shows Raleigh's life slipping slowly away. The audience would soon anticipate the worst as his condition worsens, reinforcing the futility of war yet again.

  1. I will be analysing the characteristics of Captain Dennis Stanhope from the play Journeys ...

    He feels that it is his responsibility to make to make sure that he hides his true emotional character from his men, as they look up to him, and that they would be led to believe that have no hope if their own commander, leader and idol doesn't.

  2. 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.

  1. Journeys End Coursework. How does R.C. Sherriff create sympathy for Raleigh from the ...

    He is unaware of all the things Stanhope has gone through during the war. Stanhope says, "Give me that letter!" to which Raleigh replies, "(Astonished) But - Dennis -" and Stanhope finished with "(Trembling) Give me that letter!" Here Raleigh stays shocked by how Stanhope is acting regardless of the

  2. An exploration of the changing relationship between Stanhope and Raleigh and how it develops ...

    Upon Raleigh's entrance, dramatic tension is created when Stanhope quietly says "You leave it open" as Raleigh starts to seal his letter. Stanhope's soft choice of words surprises not only Raleigh but also the audience, as it suggests there will be greater tension to come.

  1. JOURNEY'S END - The Changing Relationship Between Stanhope and Raleigh

    The tone in which he answers Raleigh seems to suggest he doesn't want Raleigh there and he seems surprised. Sentences such as, 'Oh. I see. Rather a coincidence' and 'When did you get here. I see', seem to suggest this.

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

    that he drinks whisky excessively which means he has changed, clarifying Osborne?s point. Sherriff effectively introduces Stanhope personally when the officers gather to have their meal. We are given details about his physical appearance and countenance. He is described as ?tall? and ?broad-shouldered? but ?no more than a boy?.

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