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Journeys End Coursework

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Explain the ways in which R.C. Sheriff conveys a sense of the horror of war in Journey's End with detailed reference to three extracts from the play? How could a film director enhance this sense of horror on screen? Journey's end is the seventh and most famous play written by R.C. Sheriff in 1929. It is set in Saint Quentin, France, in 1918 and gives us a brief glimpse into the experienced of the officers of a British Army infantry company in World War One by showing us a mere six days in a dug out on the front line. The action centres around a twenty-one year old captain, Stanhope. Having spent nearly three years in the trenched without any significant leave, he has taken to drinking heavily to control his nerves and to ease the stress of trench warfare. The play contains many different themes though the play, from death, to live and friendship, comradeship, class differences, and the scarring effects of war. The thing that interests me with this play is that is stays only on the single set of what is the dugouts. They are dark, underground rooms in where the officers of a British company eat, sleep and talk about the goings on outside. By being shown this so intimately, you the reader experience war and what the conditions were like. You are not faced with the usual heroic commander who saves the day, but instead there is Stanhope, a heavy drinker, badly effected by the three years of war. ...read more.


You won't let me go to hospital. I wear I'll never go into those trenches again. Shoot! - And thank God - This must be a terrifying revelation. Hibbert is actually so afraid of going into war that he is actually considering giving up his own life to avoid it. Hibbert's tone when saying this line must be cocky and loud, as if he is trying to act like he doesn't care and as if accepting the fact Stanhope was going to shoot him was brave. In the end, Stanhope does not shoot Hibbert and tries to convince Hibbert to see it through. Hibbert explains that ever since he came to war he's hated it, that every sound "up there" makes him cold and sick. He explains that he'd "rather die down here." This shows the horror's of war because there is a lot of paranoia and things going on in Hibbert's mind that torture him. Going up in the trenches and the front line has become unbearable that the mere thought of having to go back up there makes him feel sick and want to die. Even the sounds up there make him feel uneasy. The director should direct this scene to be dramatic, to show the inner feelings of Hibbert, his desperation and grief, the dread of going to war. In much of the play, we see how many of the men try to cope with and try to get their minds off the trauma of being in war so they do not go crazy like Hibbert does. ...read more.


It could be the fact that Raliegh is the young, na�ve character in which Stanhope almost feels responsible for him. Even now, the character Raliegh is na�ve which is moving for the story, and rather bittersweet. Raliegh: I'll be better if I get up and walk about. It happened once before - I got kicked in just the same place at Rugger; it - it soon wore off. It - it just numbs you for a bit. Raliegh here is comparing a small injury during rugby to a serious one. You can tell that this injury is actually nothing like his rugby injury by the way his voice is lowly draining and his having to pause a lot. Raliegh does this a lot in the play, talk about rugby and home and things like that, which just contrast how the men in the dug outs affected by war were and how Raliegh, new to war was. Raliegh, even now feels a certain duty towards the war. He comments that he "feels rotten lying down here when everyone else is up there." By now, Stanhope is desperately trying to comfort Raliegh hoping against hope that he would possibly survive his injury. Another horror of war is that death is all around you, happening all the time, even to those you never though you could lose. When Raliegh dies at the end of the play, Stanhope is left alone to face the rest of the war on his own. It makes you wander what happens to Stanhope now. Alyssa Fallaria ...read more.

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