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Journeys End Essay

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Journeys End The book 'Journeys End' was published in 1929, almost twenty years after WWI. The play is about five officers who run a company and are fighting in the war against the Germans. The main characters of the play are Stanhope, Osbourne, Trotter and Raleigh. Stanhope is a very bitter character and often shows little to no emotion due to experiences in the war, and he has steadily begun to rely more and more on Alcohol. Osbourne is often referred to as Uncle in the play which shows he adopts a fatherly figure towards the other officers. Trotter is a large man who seems to revolve around eating and Raleigh is very keen to impress Stanhope but is very naive to what the war is actually like. Hibbert is a hypochondriac and is adamant that he is going home from the war; Stanhope however will not let him. Stanhope is a very powerful and well respected officer and this is made obvious by the way Stanhope converses with other ranks, such as Mason, who is the kitchen worker. The quote below shows that Stanhope holds a great deal of authority due to the fact that Mason does not question or answer back, he just immediately does what he is asked: 'STANHOPE: Mason. ...read more.


that if the raid goes successfully he will recommend the Brigadier present them with a Military Cross for their bravery and courage. As the Colonel and Stanhope turn to leave Osbourne asks Stanhope for a quick word. 'OSBOURNE: I say, just a moment Stanhope. STANHOPE: (returning) Hullo? OSBOURNE: I say. Don't think I'm morbid or anything like that but would you mind taking these? STANHOPE: Sure, until you come back old man. OSBOURNE: It's just in case --- (He takes a letter out from his tunic pocket and and places it on the table. Then he pulls off ring and places it beside the letter.) If anything should happen would you send these along to my wife? (He pauses and gives an awkward little laugh) STANHOPE: Your coming back old man. Damn it. What would I do without you old man? This small conversation shows a great deal of trust between the two men. It is clear they share a close friendship and take comfort in each others presence. Through the play Stanhope has referred to Osbourne as Uncle which again shows their closeness. Stanhope then leaves the dugout and just as Raleigh and Osbourne are about to go up to lead the raid, Raleigh points out to Osbourne that his ring is on the table, to which Osbourne replies that he is leaving it behind as he does not want it getting lost. ...read more.


Yet Stanhope tends to Raleigh in such a brotherly way and he understands that Raleigh's injury is very serious. Stanhope reassures Raleigh he is going to be alright and at the same time the reader gets the impression that he is reassuring himself as well as Raleigh. He becomes caring and takes on a brotherly role as he tends to Raleigh. Raleigh asks for a candle as the dugout has become very dark. Stanhope takes the candle to Raleigh's bed and finds Raleigh lying still with his eyes closed. Not moving at all. The Sergeant Major again comes into the dug out and informs Stanhope he is needed in the trenches. He stares for a moment at Raleigh then goes up the steps out of the dugout. Moments later the dugout caves in. This sequence of events signifies clearly the end of the play due to the fact that the play was based in the dug out. Raleigh died inside the dug out. The play leads the reader to come to the assumption that none of officers or soldiers survived. It is rather a blunt ending and much like the whole play. The ending is put across as unimportant and insignificant and seems to leave the play unfinished. I think Sherriff did this as it will leave readers wondering what happened to the remaining officers and will leave them curious as to what actually happens to end a war. ...read more.

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