• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Write an analysis of R. C. Sherriffs presentation of soldiers under stress in the trenches and examine the ways in which class attitudes of British society during the Great War are reflected in the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1. Write an analysis of R. C. Sherriff's presentation of soldiers under stress in the trenches. 2. Examine the ways in which class attitudes of British society during the Great War are reflected in the play. Robert Cedric Sherriff was born on 6 June 1896 in Middlesex and was educated at Kingston Grammar School in Kingston upon Thames. Before and part way through World War One Sherriff worked as a clerk in an insurance office. From 1915 to 1918 he served as a captain in the 9th East Surrey Regiment, during which time he was awarded the Military Cross. He served at Vimy and Loos in France, and was severely wounded near Ypres in 1917. "Journey's End" is based on his experiences whilst serving in the war that he recorded in detail in his journal. The play juxtaposes the honour system of the middle and upper classes and the horrific reality of war that these soldiers had to live and fight through. Sherriff doesn't show the horrors of war in the play; he suggests it, which is a more effective portrayal for the audience. Sherriff wrote "Journey's End" in 1928 originally for Kingston Rowing Club to perform to raise money for a new boat, but it was too hard for them and was eventually performed on 9 December 1928 by the Incorporated Stage Society at the Apollo Theatre for one night. ...read more.

Middle

The request for this nepotistic action shows that Raleigh doesn't comprehend the magnitude and seriousness of the war. Most of the conversations held between the officers throughout the play are held in a jolly manner, to distract from the horrific situation they are in. Sherriff shows how understatements were used by officers to distance themselves - after a raid in which many people were killed one of the officers makes the comment "There's nothing worse than dirt in your tea." Sherriff shows how the officers created parallels with home to help cope by bringing a sense of familiarity to the trenches in their habits and actions. Even when planning an attack on the German frontline, the colonel invites Stanhope to dinner. The playwright shows how people moved on and the war effort continued even after tragic losses when the officers have a grand dinner to celebrate the raid in which seven men and an officer were killed. Luxuries such as champagne and chicken helped them distance themselves from the horror of what had occurred because they could not cope with such emotional trauma if they did not try to forget it. The distance in No Man's Land was described in "rugger fields" because it is something that they could relate to. Sherriff further reinforces the representation of Raleigh as the ignorant public after he is traumatised by a raid, and confronts Stanhope as to why he can celebrate when Osborne died. ...read more.

Conclusion

The classes have certain agreements within themselves, for example the upper class officers don't read each other's letters even though the rules dictate they should. The lower class soldiers don't mix with the officers, and Stanhope tells Raleigh off for doing so. He asks Raleigh, "Have you been feeding with the men?" implying that the men are sub-human and not worthy of being addressed in the same way as someone of a higher class. Sherriff shows how in some ways Trotter is an outcast in the group of middle class officers because of his working class origins and mannerisms. This is shown when Osborne does not want to discuss Hibbert behind his back with Trotter. The officers are seen by the men as leaders because they are of a higher rank and class, so for the raid the colonel has to pick one to lead the assault, rather than use a non-commissioned officer of a lower class such as a sergeant. Sherriff shows this clear class separation when Osborne asks Hardy where the men sleep, and Hardy replies that the sergeant sorts it out; i.e. he is too high class to bother with the men. As "Journey's End" is based around officers and their experience of the trenches, the low-ranking soldiers do not appear in the play much. Sherriff represents them and his views about them through the characters Mason and Trotter. These views may be slightly biased, but they are fairly accurate representations of what people of different classes were like. ...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. Journeys End. Act 2 begins with a feeling of hope. Trotter has comical conversation ...

    Sheriff adds to this by showing Stanhope's alcoholism, 'Bring some mugs and a bottle of whisky'. Stanhope is shown to be continuously thinking about drinking and the playwright uses this to show Stanhope's addiction to consumption. With deeper analysis, Sheriff has shown his addiction as a tragedy caused by the war and makes the audience feel sorry for him.

  2. Journey's End: R.C Sherriff uses the characters in his play Journey's End to create ...

    Think I want to talk about it?...We were having a jolly evening until you started blabbing about the war. After Hibbert and Trotter leaves Raleigh comes in and Stanhope starts an argument with him. Rraleigh's point of view seems to make more sense than Stanhope's, probably because he's had champagne and whisky earlier in the feast.

  1. In R.C. Sherriff's

    He then no longer wishes to read the letter and puts his head between his hands. There is tension between Stanhope and Osborne at this point; their exchange from there on out are short monosyllabic replies. Stanhope's reaction to the letter is guilt; he hurt his friend for nothing, he feels very ashamed of himself.

  2. How does RC Sherriff introduce us to the horrors of war in Act 1 ...

    think about much and been very disturbing, but that must have almost have been better than the quiet when you were not distracted and could think openly. That is the huge contrast that was formed, the sound of gunfire, it gives you a sense of security and safety as you

  1. Journeys End Drama Studies

    It is also decided that two officers and ten men have to be taken. This is a very dangerous raid and we are all aware of the officers, and fear for their safety. We also know that it is guaranteed that not all the men will come back so the suspense is very high.

  2. In what ways does R C Sheriff re-create the tremendous stress and fear suffered ...

    The main characters in the play are Stanhope, Hardy, Raleigh, Hibbert, Trotter and Osborne. Stanhope use drink to cover up his stress, fear and emotions. He drinks to cover up the nightmare of trench warfare and the fear knowing that death could be knocking on his door at anytime soon.

  1. A cruel bully A fine leader of men Which do you think ...

    He attempts to keep up a heroic façade, which fools most of the soldiers apart from Osborne and partially Raleigh.

  2. Explore the ways in which Sherriff makes this such a dramatic opening and introduces ...

    Raleigh represents the many hundreds of young men who signed up to fight for their country in World War One with the romantic view that they were ?doing their bit? to help their country win the war. Propaganda and censorship meant that these young boys entered the fighting without having

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