Journey's End by RC Sheriff Essay

Journey's End by RC Sheriff Essay

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Journey's End

R.C Sherriff uses the characters in his play Journey's End to create
tension and drama. In the opening scene Sherriff uses Osborne, an
elderly man who is second in command of the company that's coming on
duty, and Hardy, the captain of the company that is coming off duty,
to set the scene. Hardy starts to do this when pointing out features
on a map of the front line, "Here we are, we hold two hundred yards of
front line. We have a lewis gun here and one in this little sap here
and sentry posts where the crosses are". Sherriff also uses Hardy and
Osborne to give an insight into the character, Stanhope's, personality
and to describe the living conditions in the front line. He first does
this by using the stage directions at the beginning of the play '
CAPTAIN HARDY, a red-faced, cheerful looking man is sitting on a box
by the table, instantly drying a sock over a candle-flame, this gives
a first impression of the trenches and dugouts being cold and wet.
Sherriff then takes this description further when Hardy says

"Excuse my sock, won't you... Guaranteed to keep the feet dry, trouble
is it keeps getting wet doing it." The living conditions are then
further described as poor. When Hardy offer Osborne a drink of whisky
but warns him " Don't have too much water it's rather strong today",
this gives the indication that the water is unsafe and has to be
disinfected. Another indication that conditions were poor, was when
Osborne was examining the beds and Hardy blurts out "Oh no that's
mine. The one's in the other dugout have no bottoms. You keep yourself
in by hanging your arms and legs over the sides. Mustn't hang your
legs to low, or the rats gnaw on the boots". Hardy and Osborne provide
an in...

... middle of paper ...

...ys 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.

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