Review of Journey's End

Review of Journey's End

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Review of Journey's End

Journeys end was rejected by most managers of theatres because it was
so soon after the war, they thought the public would reject It since
it might remind them of lost family members, however after may
rejections it was finally accepted, it was branded awesome. The play
and characters reflect Sherrifs experience in the 'great war' where he
was sent home due to injury. Journeys end was a first hand account of
what the war was really like. The audience loved it because it was the
first of its kind; other war plays had just been showing the good side
of the war, not the dreadful trenches, disease and heartbreak.

Section 2

The play is set when a group of British officers are waiting for a
German attack, which will lead to their death. The captain Stanhope is
nearly going insane but coping only with the help of whiskey, Stanhope
is a tragic hero. Another officer Hibbert is close to breaking yet is
carrying on due to the continuous bullying from the captain. There is
an older wiser officer Osborne is like a father figure to the other
officers especially Stanhope. Another officer Trotter continually
provides humour he is also very lazy but loyal. A new officer enters
the company Raleigh who was a school friend of Stanhope and feels
heroism to him. There is a lot of Trench humour in the play (light
humour about the dreadful conditions that they are dealing with) an
example of this is when trotter is left without pepper for his meal he
says 'war's bad enough with pepper - but without pepper - it's - it's
bloody awful!' this shows that they try to find the funny side of the
war. There is another officer Hardy who is untidy, humorous and is
cynical this contrasts with Stanhope's leadership. There is a cook
Mason who is very similar to trotter as he is funny but he doesn't do
it on purpose so this provides the audience with relief from the other
horrors that are going on within the play.

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Section 3

Stanhope the captain, tragic hero, alcoholic and leader, has been
serving the company for 3 years, yet he is reluctant to take leave in
fear of what people he knows will say about his alcoholism, because
his nerves are shattered through heartbreak and comrades deaths, he is
driven to go out on the frontline 'doped up' by whiskey. He cannot
cope with reality unless drunk; this shows what a horrible effect the
war can have on a man. Stanhope does have a certain sense of humour in
his character but only on some subjects, especially not women as
Hibbert found out.

Stanhope is thought of as a hero by the other officers, Osborne says
'I've seen him on his back all day with trench fever - then on duty
all night' hardy replies with 'oh, I know; he's a splendid chap' this
shows what a great soldier he is. Hardy and Osborne have contrasting
views of Stanhope because Hardy thinks Osborne should be commanding
the company because of Stanhope's alcoholism, but Osborne completely
disagrees when he says 'his experience alone makes him worth a dozen
people like me.' This shows how highly Osborne thinks of him. Stanhope
and Hibbert do not get on at all at the beginning of the play, this is
shown when Hibbert try's to fake being 'shell shocked' Stanhope
threatens to shoot him 'better die of the pain than be shot for
deserting' this shows Stanhope's reluctant to give sympathy, the
audience feel a certain sympathy towards Hibbert because they don't
know for certain whether or not he is faking it, and Stanhope's
threatening to shoot him! Stanhope and Osborne are so close; Stanhope
refers to him as uncle. They are so close because they have such
similar personalities and both get on with the job at hand, they both
have a similar sense of humour and a despise for the ill treatment of
women. Osborne is a very happy man which contrasts with Stanhope's
desperate unhappiness. The audience think very highly of Osborne
because of his personality and as Osborne thinks highly of Stanhope
this makes the reader more sympathetic towards Stanhope.

Section 4

Raleigh is a reflection of the younger Stanhope: eager, happy,
enthusiastic, sober whereas Stanhope has turned into an unhappy
unfriendly, unenthusiastic, drunk expecting Stanhope to welcome him
Raleigh gets rejected by Stanhope because he is in fear that Raleigh
will tell of his alcoholism. Ironically he wouldn't dream of doing it,
since he hero worships Stanhope, this is shown when Stanhope reads his
letter home thinking it would be full of criticism but it was nothing
of the sort, instead it was praising him.
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