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In what ways does R. C. Sherriff re-create for his audience the tremendous stress and fear suffered by the men on the front line?

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Introduction

In what ways does R. C. Sherriff re-create for his audience the tremendous stress and fear suffered by the men on the front line? R. C. Sherriffs "Journeys End" is based on British officers waiting for a big German attack on their part of the front line. R. C. Sherriff was born in 1896. He was an officer in the East Surrey Regiment during the First World War. He was sent home when he was wounded in the battle of Passchendale in 1917. The play is based on real life experiences, mirroring the way that he and his companions lived. He died in 1975 and "Journeys End" is what he is best remembered for. Before the First World War the world mainly controlled by two major alliances; Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy in the Triple Alliance and Britain, France and Russia in the Triple Entente. When Kaiser Willhelm was made leader of Germany he began to build up their forces. ...read more.

Middle

The other beds are in different rooms leading off from the main room. These beds have no wire netting and the men have to dangle their arms and legs over the sides to stay in. Bottles held the candles, Which is the only source of light. These are very basic furnishings and must have made it more difficult for the soldiers if they could not get a good sleep when they weren't on duty. Because of the simplicity of the trenches there were millions of rats sharing the trenches with the soldiers. Mason in Act 1 describes the food and he is really guessing what it is because of the poor state it is in. This shows the stress well because the soldiers couldn't even get a decent meal. They also have to mix whisky with the water because the water tastes foul. This is caused by the disinfectant put in it. In the play this shows the audience that soldiers had to live without basic amenities that they take for granted. ...read more.

Conclusion

This re-creates the stress and fear well because it shows what the men were pushed into just to cope. At the end of Act 1, Stanhope is drunk and as Osborne is putting him to bed he asks him if he can be tucked in and given a kiss goodnight. I think he does this because he wants to go back to his childhood and feel secure and carefree. Throughout the play Raleigh is learning from the other officers on how to deal with the stress and fear of being on the front line. A major similarity between the characters is the small talk about insignificant subjects but if you were living with the same people for months on end with nothing changing, then you would have to talk about small things to keep your spirits up. Overall R. C. Sherriff re-creates the stress and fear of the men on the front line effectively. I think that the characters personalities are well developed and true to how the men would have felt at the time because R. C. Sherriff fought in the war himself and could put personal feeling and reactions into the fictional characters. ...read more.

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