After they finish talking about Stanhope, they go on to do a bit of scene setting.
Raleigh wanted to find out if the dugout they were in was in the front line so he asked Osborne "Are we in the front line here?" Osborne then replied "No. That's the support line outside, the front line is fifty yards further on." This goes on for quite a while Raleigh asks questions and Osborne answers them. Some of the things that were said were quite important in creating the atmosphere, such as where Raleigh says " How frightfully quiet it is!... I thought there would be an awful row here - all the time." this give the audience the feeling of the trenches having a eerie silence about them, Osborne amplifies this and gives to how far away from the support line the Germans are "A hundred yards from here the Germans are sitting in their dugouts, thinking how quiet it is."
Trotter, like Mason, is used by Sherriff to bring a little bit of humour into the play. Sherriff does this in Trotter's speech, either when he is talking to the characters directly, like when he tells Mason to take the lumps out of his porridge and Mason coming back having done this is told to "Keep 'em and use them for dumplings next time we have boiled beef." Or when he is talking to them indirectly, such as him telling one of his anecdotes, "When I was in the ranks we 'ad a prize cook - used to be a plumber before the war. Ought to 'ave seen the stew 'e made. Thin! Thin wasn't the word. Put a bucketful fo 'is stew in a bath and pull the plug, and the whole lot would go down in a couple of gurgles...Yes. That plumber was a prize cook, 'e was. Lucky for us one day 'e set 'imself on fire making the tea. 'E went 'ome pretty well fried." Trotter also contrasts with Stanhope in the following three ways: One, Stanhope likes his whisky, Trotter likes his food. Two, Stanhope doesn't want to go home, Trotter does want to go home and tells Osborne and Raleigh about what his home is like. Three, Stanhope doesn't want Raleigh in his company whereas Trotter tries to welcome Raleigh into the company in order to become his friend.
With the arrival of Stanhope, in Act two Scene two, the audience sees the tension in the dugout build. At first he seems to be calm and friendly towards the men that are in the main dugout, Mason and Osborne, but when Raleigh enters with a letter he wishes to send home Stanhope seems to lose his cool and starts shouting at Raleigh because he claims that he has to censor the letter. Raleigh tries to reason with him but this makes Stanhope even more angry. "D'you understand orders. Give me that letter... Don't 'Dennis' me! Stanhope's my name! You're not at school! Go and inspect your rifles." After getting the letter off Raleigh he has a nervous breakdown and says to Osborne "Oh, God. I don't want to read the blasted thing." and asks Osborne to have a quick browse, seal it and put it on the little table ready for collection. I believe Stanhope shows these sort of attiudes towards Raleigh and Hibbert because of two reasons: One, his relationship with Raleigh's sister and her not finding out that he's an alcoholic and he is afraid that Raleigh will write home and tell her. Two, he doesn't want to go home faking an illness, like Hibbert, who pretends that he has got neuralgia (headaches) and believes that he should only go home if he contracts a life threatening disease or is wounded in a battle.
After a reflective end to scene one the tension of war is reintroduced when the audience sees Stanhope in conversation with the Sergeant Major about the attack that was expected from the German's and Stanhope tells the Sergeant Major that "When the attack begins, I shall take charge of the left, and Mr. Osborne the right. You will be with Mr. Osborne, and Sergeant Baker with me; Platoons nine and ten will move over here; eleven and twelve Platoons to the left.
The Sergeant Major the builds up the tension even further by asking questions like "Well sir - when the attack comes, of course, we beat 'em off - but what if they keep on attacking?" and " Well, then, sir. If they don't get through the first day, they'll attack the next day and the next -" The incident with Hibbert escalates the tension even more because Hibbert says "Why, go sick - go down the line. I must go into hospital and have some kind of treatment... I'll go right along now, I think-". This sends Stanhope into a frenzy, he tells Hibbert to stay in the dugout and Hibbert starts to argue that he has the right to see the doctor, "I'm going to see the doctor. He'll send me to a hospital when he understands -" but Stanhope tries to convince Hibbert that the doctor won't send him to hospital "I've seen the doctor. I saw him this morning. He won't send you to hospital, Hibbert; he'll send you back here." Hibbert refuses to accept this and goes into his dugout to get his stuff, this sent Stanhope over the edge. He took out his revolver, started examining it, stops Hibbert when he returns from his dugout and tries to reason with him one last time, eventually Hibbert blindly strikes uot at Stanhope with his stick as he is held from behind by Stanhope. Stanhope takes action and catches the stick smashes it, throws it on the floor, shouts at Hibbert and then points his revolver at him and says "If you went, I'd have you shot for - deserting. It's a hell of a disgrace - to die like that. I'd rather spare you the disgrace. I'll give you half a minute to think. You either stay here and try to be a man - or you try to get out of that door - to desert." Hibbert then has a nevous breakdown and decides to stay in the trenches and the audience feels the tension start to lessen.
There is a tense start to Act three Scene one with the men awaiting the start of the raid. Stanhope's and the Colonel's attiudes towards the raid contrast as following: They both don't want the raid to happen but feel it must be done to help the war effort and Stanhope knows most of the men that are involved in the raid will die, the Colonel also knows this but just ignores this possibility. This tells the audience that they must feel frustrated and unhappy about the raid going ahead. After Stanhope and the Colonel leave Osborne starts to calm Raleigh's nerves as he is very nervous about going over the top. He has to tell Raleigh that everyone might not come back but he and Raleigh will be absolutely fine after they both come back. Osborne then says "I reckon with luck we shall be back within three minutes...And now let's forget all about it for - for six minutes. For the next six minutes they talk about what drink they like for breakfast, Osborne recites his favourite poem and they talk about what Raleigh and Stanhope did in the holidays at Raleigh's home in Lyndhurst and what Osborne did when he was at home. Then they have to go into the trenches and prepare for the raid. The stage directions start by making the whole battlefield and trenches sound that they are covered in an eerie silence, "There is silence in the trenches above the deserted dugout." This builds up tension. It then goes on and basically says that gas bombs and machine started firing at once as Osborne, Raleigh and the ten men go charging towards the German trench, with bombs and shells and German alarm rockets with long pauses between the shells and the rockets going off "Then suddenly, there's comes a dull 'crush' of bursting smoke bombs, followed in a second by the vicious rattle of machine-guns. Tthe red and green glow of German alarm rockets comes faintly through the dug-out door. Then comes the whistle of falling shells;" This builds up a dramatic effect that indicates that it is very hard to see and is very noisy and difficult to hear your comrades.
After the raid the audience is kept in suspense as to it's outcome until the very end of the scene. Stanhope seems very anxious to know the outcome of the raid and as the men come back from the raid, "Stanhope, pale and haggard comes down the steps, followed by the Colonel." This is the first indication, to the audience, that something is wrong. The raid party had managed to get one prisoner, a German boy, younger than Raleigh, who the Colonel interrogates. The Colonel regards the boy as scum from the way he talks to him at the end of the brief interrogation, "Oh, well, that's all right. Search him." The Colonel then allows the Sergeant Major to search the boy, the boy then clutches onto a pocket - book the Sergeant Major finds and the Sergeant Major has to use a little force in order to get the book off the boy and the Colonel just allows the Sergeant Major to do this. Stanhope does not think highly of the Colonel at this point because Stanhope has found out that Osborne has been killed and in a sarcastic tone says "How awfully nice - if the brigadier's pleased." The Colonel then takes the hint and asks about the raiding party and this is where the audience actually learns of Osborne's death because Stanhope, in a low and unhappy tone says "Did you expect them to be all safely back,sir?" (The first subtle hint that someone has died.) Stanhope then goes onto say "Four men and Raleigh came back safely,sir." (This is the give away to who has been killed.)
Sherriff again uses stage directions to emphasise to the audience how the mood has change in the dugout. The stage directions start by describing a feast the officers are having, "Stanhope with a cigar between his teeth, lounges across the table, one elbow among the plates and mugs. His hair is ruffled; there is a bright red flush in his cheeks. He has just made a remark and sent Hibbert and Trotter into an uproarious laughter; he listens with a smile." This gives the audience the interpretation that nothing has happened, but that is only partially right. Sherriff uses the feast as a form of escapism from the war, he uses it to give the impression that nothing had happened only hours ago. When the mention of whether or not Raleigh will get his M.C, Stanhope starts getting worked up and shouts "Oh, for God's sake forget about the bloody raid! 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. Stanhope starts getting onto Raleigh for not coming down to dinner and lies to Raleigh by saying "You insulted Trotter and Hibbert by not coming. You realise that, I suppose?" This angers Raleigh who inevitably blurts out "Good God! Don't you understand? How can I sit down and eat that - when -- when Osborne's - lying - out there-". They then go into a fight about who feels the most hurt about Osborne's death. This reveals that Stanhope considered Osborne as his only trustworthy friend and a father like war figure to him, Stanhope then tells Raleigh to leave and the scene ends with Stanhope sitting by himself.
The final scene of Journey's End finally allows us to see how Stanhope feels about Raleigh and leaves us in no doubt as to what Sherriff wants the audience to think about the War. Stanhope truly thinks of Raleigh as his friend, otherwise he wouldn't have sat next to him when he was dying and tried to comfort him by saying "I'm going to have you taken away...Down to the dressing station - then hospital - then home." Stanhope then sits by Raleigh until minutes after his death. If the audience thinks about it is ironic for Raleigh wanting to be part of the war and leaving it, in his first big battle, dead.
Although Journey's End takes place over a short period of time and in one place Sherriff is able to create tension and drama though his detailed stage directions, such as the detailed and graphical description of the raid. The conversations between the characters builds up drama and tension, for example the relationship that builds up the most tension and drama is between Stanhope and Raleigh especially in the scene that involves the letter and the scene where Raleigh is dying. The scene with the letter causes tension because Raleigh tries to reason with Stanhope after he said " I have to censor all letters." The raid brings in a new form of tension into the play - the discussion between Osborne and Raleigh brings their fears and builds up the drama here and the tension really builds up here because of the detailed and stage directions. Eespecially the effect of all the guns and shells being fired at once, "Then, suddenly, there comes the dull 'crush' of bursting smoke bombs. The red and green glow of German alarm rockets comes faintly through the dugout door. Then comes the whistle of falling shells; first one by itself then two almost together. Quicker and quicker they come, till the noise mingles together in confused turmoil." This give the audience the impression of the battlefield as very noisy and having a very poor visual conditions.
All of this leaves us in no doubt as to what Sherriff wants his audience to feel about the war. Sherriff wants the audience to see Stanhope and Raleigh represent what has happened to a generation of boys in W.W.1 These men were trained to kill, were eventually killed themselves and the pressure they were under while they were at the front, men such as sergants and captains having the responsibility of looking after men, also leads us into a decision on what war was like. I also think that Sherriff wanted the audience to feel that society was never the same because not only were there thousands of people killed, they must have been afraid that another world war might happen. It did and after that every developed country today has specialist defences against it. The war also contrasts with Stanhope's school days in the following way: Stanhope stayed at Raleigh's house in the holidays and was supposedly his friend and he cared about Raleigh and his sister, but doesn't want him in the company in case he becomes injured or even killed. Stanhope doesn't think highly of the Colonel because he only cares about getting a result and pleasing the brigadier and doesn't realise that Osborne is dead until Stanhope says to him in a sarcastic tone "How awfully nice - if the brigadier's pleased." The death of Osborne really shows on Stanhope because he shouts at Raleigh and tells Raleigh to eat his food and have a drink of whisky, basically forcing Raleigh to do stuff. When Raleigh is dying Stanhope completely changes his tune, he tries to comfort Raleigh and says that he will send him home, and after Raleigh passes away he sits there until he is called for and the play ends.