"Journey's End" By R.C Sherriff - Discuss and describe Sherriffs presentation of the following themes: Cowardice, Heroism, Comradeship and Friendship

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“Journey’s End”

By R.C Sherriff

Discuss and describe Sherriffs presentation of the following themes:

  • Cowardice
  • Heroism
  • Comradeship and Friendship

Journey’s End is a play about the full horror and futility of the trench welfare in the First World War. During the war, the playwright R.C Sherriff was an officer who was wounded in battle. He bases the play upon his real life experiences – mirroring the way he and his comrades fought and lived, re-living some of his past experiences. The play gives the audience a clear insight into the reality of life at war and explores the harsh conditions experienced by soldiers and officers at the front line. Sherriff showed a lot of different themes in his play, which made it very effective.

R.C Sherriff presents many different ways in which men reacted to the pressures of the First World War. He uses Hibbert to show the way some of the soldiers reacted, and then presents the opposite view of Stanhope who, despite being typical perfect solider, still has is moments of fear and self-doubt. He uses Osborne to represent bravery, courage and heroism. And finally he shows the friendship formed between characters such as the relationship between Stanhope and Raleigh.

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Hibbert is a significant exception to the other officers, as he is a coward, a weak and repellent man. He complains about a pain in his eye.

"I don't think I can manage any supper tonight, Stanhope. It's this beastly neuralgia. . .the beastly pain gets worse every day"

Stanhope allows him to turn in for the night but once Hibbert is out of sight Stanhope makes a hypocritical remark to Osborne.

“Another little worm trying to wriggle home…”

We can gather that Stanhope doesn't believe what Hibbert is saying and merely sees it ...

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