Journey's End by RC Sheriff Essay

Journey's End by RC Sheriff Essay

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Sherriff's "Journey's End"


On many occasions throughout the book of the play of "Journeys End",
Sherriff uses methods to re-create the overwhelming stress of trench
warfare. He describes every aspect of the trenches, the guns and the
whole life. With this understanding of the trenches, the audience are
helped in imagining what it must have been like to live there. In the
play, all the narrative writing in the book has had to have been left
out. Instead the directors must rely more on the acting and the
scenery, which is not to do with Sherriff's work and vision. However
the directors of these plays have to get the scenery correct if they
are going to make the audience understand the unbearable stress
suffered by the soldiers. Sherriff gives good guidance to the
directors in the large columns of narratives, which have already been
mentioned. With these the directors can strategically set the scenery
in certain position to gain maximum effect while also having the
benefit of knowing what the stage is meant to look like adding to the
overall effects.

The main way in which Sherriff re-creates the stress of warfare is in
his large chunks of narrative. These are found on many pages
throughout the book. He uses these to describe all about the lives of
the men and the feelings of everyone. An example of this is on the
first page where he introduces a very full-characterised captain. Of
course these passages help the directors to grasp some aspect of the
way the stage should look but also allows the reader to get his or her
own picture in her head. With so many descriptive words throughout the
book, it is hard not to imagine the front line in one way or another.
This method is very effective as it does give ...


... middle of paper ...


...the end
of the book he re introduces Stanhope as an inspiration and tries to
please him in many ways. Raleigh uses Stanhope has an idle to get him
through the stress. The other way in which he looks to avoid the
stress is by sending letters to his family, and having general
conversations like the one with Osborne where Raleigh finds out
Osborne played rugby for England.

Other generalised ways in which the men in the book deal with the
stress is through patriotism. Frequent jokes are made about the
Germans and many of the troops, including officers only stay and fight
because they feel the Germans are doing the world an injustice. Many
of the men believe they are fighting for the safety of Britain and
their families. The silence of the war is frequently mentioned
throughout the book and many of the men gather in unity and sing songs
to banish the quiet.

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