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Journeys end was first produced on 9th December 1928

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Introduction

Journeys end was first produced on 9th December 1928. The play was presented on 21st January 1929. R.C.Sherrif did not set out to glorify war he set out to show the reality, devastation and what life was actually like during the war. R.C.Sherrif had been a soldier so those that knew what it was like saw his portrayal of warfare as authentic. He does this through eyes of officers, which is different to how it is done by most play writers, as their role is more senior and after doing their duties they also have responsibility for other men and their lives. The five principal roles in Journey's end are of four officers Osborne, Raleigh, Trotter and Hibbert but there is also Stanhope who is the commander of 'c' company. They all represent very different characters, Osborne is a very level-headed, older more mature person. Raleigh is a young boy who has just left school. He finds the war very exciting and he is enthusiastic about it. Trotter is a fat, jolly sort who loves his food; he is a very homely man. Stanhope is the authoritarian yet he needs alcohol to cope but he takes his job very seriously. Hibbert is basically a waste of space he is a malingerer as he tries to get home by faking an illness; it backfires on him though as Stanhope has the same illness and he is still there, he refuses to let Hibbert go home, yet Hibbert says he will go anyways but then Stanhope talks him into staying. ...read more.

Middle

Raleigh and Osborne then go on to talk about the raid and what is going to happen and the positions they are going to take, basically just have a quick once over of the plan. Osborne then says 'And now lets forget about it for - (he looks at his watch) - for six minutes' this shows that Osborne is trying to think about other and things and tries to engage Raleigh in a conversation about old times, Osborne talks about things he would like to do and Raleigh suggests that maybe they should go together some time. Yet while Osborne is trying to deter the conversation on to other things Raleigh eagerly asks more questions about the raid. This shows a contrast between the two characters on one hand you have Raleigh who is young in body yet also young in mind as Sheriff portrays Raleigh to not have thought about what might happen during the attack. He is very excited about the whole ordeal. On the other hand there is Osborne who obviously by means of Sheriff showing Osborne giving his things to Stanhope incase of failure to return, has thought about things in more depth. He is dreading the attack and trying to forget about it for what may be the last few minutes of his life. Moving on in the scene to when the raid takes place, the entire things is done in stage directions with noises, lights and distant voices, which all die down to the sound of Stanhope's voice. ...read more.

Conclusion

This part of the play shows you how young Raleigh is because he takes it off Stanhope like they are still at school whereas maybe one of the other two officers would of talked to him about it and tried to calm him down. Act three scene two offers the audience different angles on Hibbert as Stanhope refers to Hibbert as "a little worm" because of the experiences he has had with him but also because he doesn't like him. Whereas Trotter refers to him by saying "poor little fella..... Hes tried hard" The effect this has on the audience is that rather than taking the opinion of Stanhope, the audience can begin to, if they haven't already, to form their own opinions of the characters. In general the ending of this scene is very effective as it shows Stanhope releasing his emotions that he has so carefully been restraining. Overall I think throughout the play R.C.Sherriff has done what he set out to do. Journeys End does not just give you facts and figures but it shows you the horror and devastation of what actually happens on a personal level. I think a credit needs to be given when it is due to R.C.Sherriff because as you go along through the play and scenes you can easily pick out the structure of the scenes yet it is not predictable. The dramatic techniques that R.C.Sherriff uses such as introducing food when there is going to be a dramatic peak have worker, and unlike many other wartime plays you feel an emotional bonding with the characters as an audience. ...read more.

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