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What is the effect of warfare on the characters and their relationships in "Journey's End?"

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Introduction

What is the effect of warfare on the characters and their relationships in "Journey's End?" The First World War, what can you expect? Dirty, horrible conditions, rat infested trenches, disinfected water, intense boredom and the repetition of machine guns viciously rattling in the distance. These are the predicaments that the soldiers had to cope with in the deadly war. Though there was a battle on between the Germans and the British, there was also an internal battle on within the characters as they fought to relieve their depression. The trench conditions inside and outside was very bad in the war. There was only a 'narrow strip of starlight sky' and a 'pale shaft of sunlight' outside the trenches. The 'intense darkness' tell us that the soldiers were living in a very poor state. The trench conditions affected the men in different ways. Stanhope is the most affected soldier from the rest of the characters. Although he has the best position that anybody could have, 'The Company Commander of an Infantry Company,' he has one problem, drinking. To cope with the war, he turns to alcohol to relieve his depression, for one incident occurred when he arrived back to the 'C' Company, he had an 'awful affair on Vimy Ridge,' and so he knew he would 'go mad if I didn't break the strain. - I couldn't bear being fully conscious all the time.' This shows us that he can not live without alcohol. ...read more.

Middle

They 'talk man to man' about anything, including their personal matters. One incident occurred was when Stanhope spoke to Osborne about his girlfriend, 'I've never shown you' that, have I? ...Raleigh's sister, isn't it? ...Yes. She is waiting for me.' This tells us that Stanhope and Osborne trust and confide in each other. Whatever the matter being big, Stanhope will always talk to Osborne about it. Stanhope cannot find in his heart the true love for his girlfriend as he 'could not go home on his last leave,' in case Raleigh's sister 'realised he was a drinker.' Stanhope relies on Osborne to keep it a secret. Osborne wants to stay with Stanhope for the rest of their lives, as he said they will 'go to hell together.' This tells us that their strong relationship will remain, from start to end. Osborne is a caring person who 'helps him on to bed,' making sure that Stanhope is comfortable. This tells us that Osborne treats Stanhope as his son. Stanhope has taken a great affect on him after Osborne's death. He is more depressed than before and his death has affected him physically as well as mentally. He is 'expression less' and 'speaks in a dead voice.' Raleigh is a young and inexperienced person who is also affected by the war. He is at least eighteen years old, as he 'only left school at the end of last summer term.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall we can say that all the characters in "Journey's End" are affected by the war. Stanhope is greatly affected as he drinks all the time and is depressed after Osborne and Raleigh's death. Osborne plays a major role in the play as he is second in command. He is generally a caring and giving person whom tries to not think greatly about the war. He welcomes Raleigh into the company and gives a good impression of himself. He has a close relationship with Stanhope as they are known as 'best friends.' Unfortunately he dies in the war but from beginning till end, Osborne has played a good role. Raleigh is a young person who went to school with Stanhope and has now joined into his regiment. He is enthusiastic to fight with Stanhope but unfortunately he also dies at the end. Hibbert is an officer of the company who fears that he is going to die. He convinces Stanhope that he has neuralgia but Stanhope threatens him that he will shoot him. Trotter is also an officer of the company who is also affected by the war. He uses food as comfort and he blacks in circles to make the time go by. We can say in general that the war is a terrible thing to happen but the commitment that the men make to their country is very dear. I will end this with a quote from a famous author. "The tragedy of war is that it uses man's best to do man's worst." - Henry Fosdick - 5 1 ...read more.

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