R.C. Sherriff's Journey's End

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R.C. Sherriff's "Journey's End"

'Journey's End' by R.C. Sherriff is set in World War One. It is set in

1918 in St Quentin, when the war was coming to an end. The play was

first performed in 1928 when people were ready for a change in

society. R.C. Sherriff's portrayal of the effects of war is similar in

there to that of the poetry of Wilfred Owen Siegfried Sassoon and

would prompt audience's to question their attitudes to World War One.

The characters in the play are, Captain Dennis Stanhope of the 'c'

company and his men, Trotter, Osborne, Raleigh, Hibbert and Mason, the

chef and cleaner. All of these are officers apart from Mason.

The author's intentions in this play were to challenge the

expectations of middle-class theatregoers, concerning the truth about

war and not just propaganda. Destroying all stereotypes whether or not

the character is upper, middle or working class. As well as this

Sherriff was trying to change the views of class in society. The

officers should not be born into their rank but placed in their

rightful position. An officer needs to be loyal and hard working, and

should not be positioned there because of their wealthy background.

Sherriff creates a tense atmosphere automatically, which in turn keeps

the audience interested in the play because the backdrop to the plot

is World War One, which was traumatic enough due to all the bloodshed.

The whole of the play was performed using only one stage set, the

trench, which gives the audience a slight insight into how

claustrophobic and prison like-conditions. Also the darkness of the

dugout creates stress for the men, it makes it feel more tense and

claustrophobic, the audience will be intrigued to see how the

characters will su...

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young enthusiastic men who died without knowing the truth about how

horrible the world would be to him.

Audience involvement occurs in a variety of ways the idea of the men

being cooped up in a small dark and damp trench is given to the

audience on several occasions, especially during the first Act.

Audience's stereotypes were changed throughout the play, all for the

better and none for the worst. Trotter came in a lower-class officer

but came out on top of the other upper-class officers. Numerous

members of the audience would now question the officers within the

army and also how they are selected.

Therefore Sherriff has achieved his intentions, to put the public's

minds on the right track about war. Positively I can say that R.C

Sherriff succeeded in proving his point that the army is corrupt and

that not everyone deserves what they are given.
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