Journey’s End Act 1 Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
GCSE English Literature Journey's End learning resources for adults, children, parents and teachers. “Journey's End” by R. C. Sherriff The others call him 'uncle' suggesting not just his older age but also the family-like relationship the soldiers share. That Raleigh and Stanhope knew each other at school and are family friends causes a . and the one everyone (including Stanhope) confides in and goes to for advice. Journey's End. In this scene, we see Stanhope and Raleigh confronting each other. In what ways does Stanhope attempt to assert his authority over Raleigh in.
Journey's End. In this scene, we see Stanhope and Raleigh confronting each other.
Striking a superior officer! The confrontation with Stanhope giving an ultimatum to Hibbert that if he attempts to leave he will shoot him is dramatic. Tension mounts as Stanhope counts down until he realises that Hibbert is prepared to be shot. Writers have said that it is not the prospect of death, but the waiting and the tension that is worse.
How R C Sheriff evokes a sense of pathos in the final scene of Journeys End Essay
Suicide in the Trenches [Sassoon] is a poignant poem about a young man who decides to kill himself rather than wait for death. Although Yeats [p53] is writing of the love of flying rather than hatred or patriotism, his title An Irish Airman foresees his death leaves no doubt about what the men expected. In a humorous way, Blackadder and his group decide that they would be safer in the skies.
In an episode featuring Flashman, they decide to join the Royal Flying Corps because they understand that they only have to do forty minutes. When they realise that the average life span of a new pilot was forty minutes, they return to the trenches and their inevitable fate. The exchange between Hibbert and Stanhope about fear is illuminating and Stanhope admits how he feels. His long speech If you went — and left Osborne and Trotter and Raleigh and all those men up there to do your work — could you ever look a man straight in the face again — in all your life?
Motivation for the soldiers was varied and Ezra Pound describes them in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, cynically outlining that only a few fought for patriotic reasons. The tension is broken by the arrival of Mason and the discussion of the oniony tea. Stanhope tells Osborne as he arrives about the planned raid. He receives the news stoically and pragmatically. The lack of conversation about the possibility of survival tells us everything. Many of the songs they sang were bleak reminders of this.
In front of Mason, they both make jokes about the onions but when he leaves, the subject returns to the raid and Trotter expresses his opinions damn ridiculous making a raid when the Boche are expecting it. Because this is a play, it is not possible to reveal thoughts and everything must be said. It would not be appropriate for the officers to directly criticise the orders of their superiors so Trotter is used here to clearly explain to the audience, the stupidity of the plan.
This is a comment on the position of the soldiers, How cheerfully he seems to grin And neatly spreads his claws And welcomes little fishes in With gently smiling jaws! Trotter does not understand the relevance but Osborne is trying to show that there is no point in what they are doing — it is as sensible as the nonsense Lewis Carroll wrote, an exercise in futility and probable death. In contrast to the rest of the officers, Raleigh is excited about the raid and very impressed that he was picked specially.
The Act ends at this point as an emphasis on the naivety and lack of understanding of Raleigh. Look at Blackadder with Haig sweeping all his toy soldiers from the desk; Oh What a Lovely War comments on his poor decisions and there is a lot of controversy over the tactics in the battle of the Somme, where the men advanced into guns at walking pace and were effectively slaughtered.
The General [p97 Up the Line] is a direct criticism of the General who did for them both with his plan of attack. Study Look at the way tension is raised and relieved throughout the Act. Look particularly at the role of Trotter in providing this and the role of humour. Examine the ways in which the different men respond to the news of the raid. What does this say about their characters? Act 3 Scene 1 The time is shown through backlighting and the scene directions clearly indicate sunset.
Meanwhile, the Boche are sitting over there with a dozen machine-guns trained on that hole — waiting for our fellows to come.
The Colonel shows some humanity when he asks Have those red rags on the wire upset the men at all? Osborne empties his belongings and asks Stanhope to send them to his wife if he fails to come back.
Stanhope is all too aware of the possibility but is honest when he says, Damn it what on earth should I do without you? Must have somebody to tuck me up in bed. When Raleigh enters as Stanhope leaves, there is an eerily quiet conversation between the two men. Osborne is very aware of the dangers and Raleigh appears more nervous after the initial excitement. Osborne gives the instructions about what they are going to do which informs the audience. Their conversation about coffee and tea barely disguises the increasing tension of waiting.
Raleigh is pondering on the raid and Osborne attempts to change the subject. A poem from Alice is quoted. Reflections of home is a common feature of WW1 literature, from the Ireland of A Long long way by Sebastian Barry, to the poetry of Edward Thomas where references to the war are present if disguised. The conversation adds to their characters by providing them both with backgrounds and fleshes them out.
This last piece can be compared with the conversation towards the end of the film, The Trench between Billy and the Sergeant just as they are going over the top in the battle of the Somme. The more experienced man reassures Billy that he always knows who is coming back and that Billy is one of them.
They leave the stage. The scene directions are crucial — especially as the raid, the response is described aurally and create both excitement, tension and havoc. Stanhope is heard off stage with the Colonel and they both enter with the sergeant-major bringing a German boy who has been captured in the raid. Stanhope leaves to see the men and the audience are presented with a German version of a very frightened young boy — their equivalent of Raleigh.
The youth of the soldier is always referenced in both Allied and German texts. All Quiet on the Western Front describes the soldiers as young. In the film The Trench, Billy is only This is obviously for the benefit of the audience and also shows the incompetence of the Colonel, You wish to know where I was born? After taking papers the Sergeant-major hands him back his possessions, Here you are sonny.
The boy is not badly treated and leaves with the sergeant-major. Through the Colonel asking, we are told the situation. Osborne and six other men were killed. Raleigh enters clearly adversely affected and is less responsive to the news about the Military Cross and the colonel leaves. And the curtain closes on the tragedy. Scene 2 Again Sherriff provides detailed scene directions to display a post dinner setting with Trotter, Stanhope and Hibbert all of whom have been drinking and the laughter is semi-hysterical.
They are telling each other jokes and stories and Trotter is almost in tears of laughter. It would be useful to remind yourself of this by looking at the scene with Sarah on the beach. Hibbert passes round some postcards of women presumably semi pornographic. This is similar to the postcards in The Trench that causes an argument between the men when one goes missing.
Mason explains that this is the last bottle and it would appear that in the three days, they have drunk five. Trotter and Hibbert tell us more about the way in which Raleigh has reacted and Stanhope breaks up the party getting rid of Hibbert.
He says to Trotter, I envy you, Trotter. Nothing upsets you does it? The reply, Little you know is left in the air but we are informed that there is more to Trotter than Stanhope can understand. When Raleigh enters, Stanhope has his dinner brought and there is a confrontation between them. Raleigh is clearly broken, a very different character from that we see in Act 1 and 2. The matters are addressed however when Raleigh eventually says, if I annoyed you by coming to your company.
The reality was a continual loss and each soldier had to find a way of handling this or go mad, which many did. Friendships became important in the trenches and the loss made worse because of this. Scene 3 The scene directions focus upon lighting to indicate the time of day. Mason has come in to wake Stanhope who is asleep. References are made to the time, the cold and Mason has cut sandwiches for the men and made tea.
It is the battle as Mason is instructed to prepare to join his platoon in the line. Her Privates We also shows how the signallers had to join their platoons when it was time for battle. Stanhope discusses the strategies with the sergeant major, Trotter is sent up to the trench calling for Hibbert and Raleigh. Raleigh joins him but Hibbert is scared, trying to procrastinate to avoid going.
I aint been up in this part of the front line. And with a smile he leaves and steps into the trench. The state of the battle is described, first by the soldier who explains that Corporal Ross has been hit badly and then the sergeant major enters with news that Raleigh has been hit and his spine broken.
Stanhope is clearly upset, orders a stretcher but the state of battle is such that the trenches are besieged. A soldier comes to ask him to come and he leaves. The scene directions are all about the noises off stage and the destruction of the dugout indicating that all the men are dead. Look at the way Sherriff constructs tension and builds up to the final scene.
How does Sherriff avoid sentimentality in this play? Why are their nerves steady when Hibbert cracks and Stanhope relies upon alcohol. One essential ingredient of drama is conflict.
Show how all the characters including the German prisoner are united in conflict with the external forces of war. Look at the way in which dramatic excitement is dependent upon conflict of wills among the characters. Much of the emotion of the play comes from the relationship between Raleigh and Stanhope, both of whom have the sympathy of the audience. What makes the barrier between them so poignant and how is it removed at the end? Write about the type of humour which the men use as a means of concealing their real feelings Estimate the importance of food and talk of food in revealing character How far do you sympathise with Hibbert?
What is his dramatic value in the play? Stanhope is relatively developed as a character. How is he shown both How appropriate is the following poem by Siegfried Sassoon to the characters in the play? In the great hour of destiny they stand, Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives. Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.
I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain, Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats, And mocked by hopeless longing to regain Bank holidays and picture shows, and spats, And going to the office in the train. This was a time when men would not speak of the war as it was not comprehensible by those who had not served and many texts refer to this separation from the home front.
In his autobiography he claimed that he wanted people to recognise themselves, their friends, their sons and husbands in the characters and he was aware that some of them had not returned. The play then was a tribute to them. The setting emphasises the terrible conditions, the rats, the damp, the endless waiting and eerie quiet punctuated by cacophonous noise and shelling.
In Anthem for Doomed Youth, Owen refers to the shrill demented choirs of shells. He was also aware that his audience would understand the stupidity of some orders and the impossibility of not following them.
The complacency of the colonel and his lack of interest in the men has been described by both Sassoon and Owen and such officers are often portrayed as such in prose texts. The raid changes him when he sees the reality of war. The men are all seen as sacrificed for no real reason. Only a little information is obtained from the German prisoner, yet seven men die for it.
The use of Alice in Wonderland equally refers to the madness of the world where nothing makes sense. The play can be seen as anti-war but mostly because modern attitudes to war are unsupportive. There is a suggestion of criticism but it is aimed at the Colonel and anonymous orders but the emphasis on futility and madness lends it to that stance.
Sherriff claimed that he did not intend to write an anti-war play but his focus on the suffering and dying is a reference to the tragedy of war. He views the war as an extension of the sportsfield which reflects a lot of the ways in which the war was presented in some earlier poetry.
Vitae Lampada is an example of Play up, play up and play the game. Stanhope is portrayed as a typical hero, having already been awarded the Military Cross.
He has been at the front for the longest and is admired by his officers in spite of his drinking. His volunteering himself for the raid confirms him as a hero in the play. However, it is his knowledge and likelihood of death which makes him afraid for himself and others. He wants to protect Raleigh from the truth and preserve his view of him as a hero.
This causes him to behave strangely towards Raleigh and try to censor his letter to Madge. Sherriff presents the heroism and its cost. After the raid, Raleigh begins to recognise the true price of glory. He has been exposed to the truth and the futility of the attack so that when he comes back to the dugout he is described as walking as though he were asleep.
He is a hero because of what he has done in the raid yet the Military Cross has lost its appeal. Sassoon, angry at the prolonged war which he believed was for political and economic gain of a few threw his medal into the water in disgust.
There have been various examples of old soldier heroes returning or throwing their medals away as they realise the nature of war.JOURNEY'S END REVISION (GCSE English Literature)
Part of the everyday heroism in the soldiers is that they united in the face of difficulties. His reliance on volunteers for the raid shows the courage and heroism of his company. The deaths of Osborne and the others may be seen as pointless but in the face of difficulties and complacency in the shape of the colonel and his superiors, their deaths are heroic. Sherriff recognises and pays tribute to the men who died in the war. It might be that the play was written so soon after the war, but later texts tend to see some of the men as less than heroic.
Comradeship Comradeship and unity are important to the men in the play and is a theme that is considered by many writers about the war. This is apparent throughout the time in the dugout.
When Raleigh first enters the play, Osborne takes him under his wing, explaining to him trench life. This is also shown in Regeneration with Rivers often being viewed as a father figure. Given the increasing anger of the young men at the old ones who sent them to war, it was almost as if they substituted the real fathers with preferred ones. Trotter is equally welcoming and their fondness is shown in their comments to reach other.
Osborne is close to many of the officers. He and Trotter share memories of the gardening; he and Raleigh talk of home and rugby and they become closer by being chosen for the raid.
Osborne often acts as a confidante and it is in him who Mason confides about the pineapple chunk error and the one to whom Stanhope talks frankly. Osborne tells Hardy that I love that fellow [Stanhope]. His distress at his loss of Osborne demonstrates the friendship between the two of them. Their true bond is evident at the end when Raleigh is injured. It is the special bond and friendship between men that Stanhope draws on when trying to persuade Hibbert to stay and one which suggests that all of them die in the end.
Public School and Class The British army has always been class conscious and a quick view of any of the episodes of the TV series Sharpe will confirm this. There was a regular army in place at the time of WW1 but was supplemented by the volunteers and later by conscripts.
The soldier has never been viewed with respect in Britain except for he regular senior officers who were often from the higher classes. Junior officers who led battalions and divisions in the field of battle were often recruited from public schools, especially those with the tradition of combined cadet force and whose boys would enter into the army or navy. However, just as Richard Sharpe is promoted to Major on merit, so there were examples of lower class soldiers to be commissioned.
This is seen in Billy Prior [Regeneration] who is vitriolic in his opinion of social class and in Trotter whose class is shown by his accent. Although there are claims that social class was breaking down, it is debateable. In the play, the central focus on public school life is talk of rugby, cricket and schoolmasters and acts as a bond between the men.
It allows them to view life at the front as an extension of school life. At the time public schools were single-sex mostly boarding in dormitories rather than bedrooms and men all working and living together in close proximity would not have been different to their school experience.
This shared background is shown in Osborne measuring distances in rugby fields, Raleigh relating his injury to a rugby tackle. Osborne, who was a school master is viewed as a benevolent housemaster, Stanhope the head boy [as he was at school] and Raleigh the newcomer who needs to know the rules.
The confined timespan, the claustrophobic setting and the overwhelming feeling of doom help create unity. The play is very realistic and as such some critics have accused it of having no structure.
However, the apparently disorganised nature of events is a reflection of the chaos of war where things do not follow a strict pattern. There is a mini climax over the letter which is resolved half way through Act 2 when the next complication, the raid, is introduced.
The next dramatic moment occurs when there is a conflict between Hibbert and Stanhope leaving the audience expectant by the end of the act. In the first scene of the 3rd act, the raid has taken place, Osborne has died and the final battle is imminent. In the last scene, Raleigh and all the others die.
It is interesting to trace the moods of the play which oscillate between moments of calm to tension, light relief to drama, joy to sadness and anger to peace and eventual death. There is an acute awareness of theatre and effect on the audience. He recognised a range of emotions to maintain the interest of the audience and to present a realistic view of war.
Mason and food are included as light relief, Osborne as a friend to all and a range of character types that would have been recognisable amongst the soldiers and who are often described in other texts. Go through the play and plot out the following: Characters The use of language by characters The use of understatement, irony and humour Inference, symbolism and imagery Most of these are addressed in the commentary and should help you identify them.
Some texts to read that are not included in Up the Line to Death. Suicide in the Trenches I knew a simple soldier boy Who grinned at life in empty joy, Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, And whistled early with the lark. In winter trenches, cowed and glum, With crumps and lice and lack of rum, He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again. You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go. THESE fought, in any case, and some believing, pro domo, in any case.
Some quick to arm, some for adventure, some from fear of weakness, some from fear of censure, some for love of slaughter, in imagination, learning later. Daring as never before, wastage as never before. Young blood and high blood, Fair cheeks, and fine bodies; fortitude as never before frankness as never before, disillusions as never told in the old days, hysterias, trench confessions, laughter out of dead bellies.
THERE died a myriad, And of the best, among them, For an old bitch gone in the teeth, For a botched civilization, Charm, smiling at the good mouth, Quick eyes gone under earth's lid, For two gross of broken statues, For a few thousand battered books. Pluck Crippled for life at seventeen, His great eyes seem to question why: With both legs smashed it might have been Better in that grim trench to die Than drag maimed years out helplessly.
A child — so wasted and so white, He told a lie to get his way, To march, a man with men, and fight While other boys are still at play.
A gallant lie your heart will say. So broke with pain, he shrinks in dread To see the 'dresser' drawing near; And winds the clothes about his head That none may see his heart-sick fear. His shaking, strangled sobs you hear. But when the dreaded moment's there He'll face us all, a soldier yet, Watch his bared wounds with unmoved air, Though tell-tale lashes still are wetAnd smoke his woodbine cigarette. Eva Dobell "Trench Idyll" Richard Aldington We sat together in the trench, He on a lump of frozen earth Blown in the night before, I on an unexploded shell; And smoked and talked, like exiles, Of how pleasant London was, Its women, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, How at that very hour The taxi-cabs were taking folk to dine It is set in the later part of World War One.
World War One was fought using trench warfare. Soldiers each took turns at working in the line until they were given leave, which sometimes wasn't for a long time.
The soldiers showed tremendous courage and spirit to continue working Journeys End is set in a dugout in the early First World War. It is an ensemble piece and contains lots of indirect action.
It is an extremely naturalistic play, due to it being written from first hand experience.
BBC Bitesize - GCSE English Literature - Journey's End
It contains aspects of ordinary English life back then. One of the two men is Michael Siberry, who played the knowledgeable Osborne a lieutenant who was treated with respect in the production. Journeys end is a play that has been successful for over 70 years Essay Essay This success is due to the amazing web of tension and drama that is mixed together to form the ultimate concoction of excitement. The play is written by R. Sherriff, a man who had experienced the trauma of the 1st world war, life in the front line, this gives the play its realistic edge, the play immediately gets into the story line, and starts the play with extremely detailed stage introductions which easily give Journey's End Essay Essay Write detailed advice about how you would want the part to be played, including specific references to lines and scenes and how you would expect an audience to react.
In this essay I will be looking at the character Stanhope and how I think he should be played in 3 key scenes. When he try's to get the letter off Raleigh. These are when Stanhope confronts Hibbert about his plan to go down sick. Also the end scene where Raleigh dies. Stanhope is the main character Journey's End, what do you think makes a good officer Essay Essay It portrays the hardship and the suffering that the several officers in it had to endure, during the days that are depicted in it.