JOURNEY'S END Al CHARACTERS stanhope - Commanding an Infantry Company OSBORNE TROTTER HIBBERT .. Raleigh: Oh? He may be a relation. JOURNEY'S END STUDENT WORK Aims and objectives: To ensure . Raleigh enters and Stanhope insists on reading his letter home. . Osborne comments about the social relationships and shows us the effects of the .. There is reference to a special dinner because we've had fresh chicken sent up from Noyelle Farm. Written ten years after the Armistice, Journey's End was not an anti-war play; as war weary Captain Stanhope, Asa Butterfield as newly posted officer, Raleigh.
One hundred and forty-four little circles — one for each hour of six days. It is also a reminder of the boredom. I mean outside the newspapers? Thus, Sherriff introduces both the propaganda of the press and the reality of how soldiers actually felt about the enemy. This is an issue that is raised in many texts.
In Birdsong Stephen falls into the arms of a German, both weeping as he survives the collapse of the mine; Edward Thomas This is no petty case of right or wrong and Wilfred Owen, Strange Meeting both refer to the enemy as the same as them.
In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul does not rage against the Allies but as with many contemporary commentators and participants in the war felt more anger against those who started and maintained the war, rather than the enemy.
In A Dead Boche, Robert Graves describes a dead German propped up against a destroyed tree with horror and argues that it would prove a cure for war. Osborne tells Raleigh the story of when they rescued a wounded man after a battle and a German officer called out, Carry Him and fired some lights for them to see by. Orders for wiring are given and apart from reminding the audience of what the soldiers have to do, it also shows Stanhope as a proactive, careful commander. The date and time is referenced also reminding us of the imminent possible attack by the enemy.
Funny not to have any imagination. Must be rather nice. A bit dull, I should think Stanhope: It must be, rather. There are many philosophical discussions about elements of nature in war literature. In Break of Day in the Trenches, Rosenberg contemplates how a sardonic rat has more freedom to traverse the trenches and a better chance of life than the human beings he often feeds on.
Osborne changes the subject to that of sunsets. He is trying to move Stanhope away from this reflective state and also provides some of the background out of the trenches. The play is set in this dugout and it is important for the characters to make references in order to widen the setting.
His references to I never knew the sun could rise in so many ways till I came out here.
Journey's End review – horror, humour and humanity in the trenches | Film | The Guardian
Green and pink and red and blue and grey. Just as in Her Privates We, the poignancy comes from the lack of heroes — just ordinary men who wish they were not at war. Stanhope mentions Raleigh seeing him drunk and once more mentions censoring the letter. It is going to be a point of conflict and Sherriff is gradually raising the tension regarding this.
His outburst as he insists on reading it, surprises even Osborne, Good heavens Stanhope!. The curtain falls which creates an impact and gives the audience time to reflect.
How much further developed are the characters of Raleigh, Stanhope, Trotter and Osborne in this scene? Scene 2 Stanhope gives the sergeant major orders about the expected attack on Thursday.
Again, there are very precise references to dates and time. The exchange shows the respect the sergeant has for Stanhope and the bravery and commitment of the officer. This can be compared with various exchanges in Her Privates We and the respect that Sassoon and Owen show for the ordinary soldier.
The exchange also contrasts with that of the Colonel who enters as the sergeant leaves. Trotter is too fat Not much good at dashing in? Stanhope tries to avoid this by suggesting a sergeant but the Colonel disagrees The men expect officers to lead a raid. The reference to the unsuitability of Hibbert introduces him and he comes from off stage where the sleeping quarters are to discuss the possibility of sick leave.
Hibbert becomes hysterical at the possibility of not being able to get out of the Thursday attack and the argument becomes very dramatic, Better die of the pain than be shot for deserting. Stanhope has no sympathy for Hibbert although later texts do show more compassion for those soldiers whose nerves had gone.
Regeneration by Pat Barker deals a lot with this. The Deserter by Frankau in Up the Line p 85 describes the shooting of one and Her Privates We gives a very scathing description of a man who had deserted but who was not going to be shot. 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. 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.
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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?Stanhope & Hibbert - Journey's End
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?
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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.
Journey's End review – horror, humour and humanity in the trenches
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. 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. As Stanhope is in a relationship with Raleigh's sister Madge, he is concerned that Raleigh will write home and inform his sister of Stanhope's drinking. Stanhope tells Osborne that he will censor Raleigh's letters so that this does not happen; Osborne does not approve. Stanhope has a keen sense of duty and feels that he must continue to serve rather than take leave to which he is entitled.
He criticises another soldier, Second Lieutenant Hibbert, who he thinks is faking neuralgia in the eye so that he can be sent home instead of continuing fighting. Osborne puts a tired and somewhat drunk Stanhope to bed. Stanhope and the other officers refer to Osborne as 'Uncle'. Trotter talks about how the start of spring makes him feel youthful; he also talks about the hollyhocks which he has planted.
These conversations are a way of escaping the trenches and the reality of the war. Osborne and Raleigh discuss how slowly time passes at the front, and the fact that both of them played rugby before the war and that Osborne was a schoolmaster before he signed up to fight; while Raleigh appears interested, Osborne points out that it is of little use now.
Osborne describes the madness of war when describing how German soldiers allowed the British to rescue a wounded soldier in No Man's Land and the next day the two sides shelled each other heavily. He describes the war as "silly". Stanhope announces that the barbed wire around the trenches needs to be mended.
Information gathered from a captured German is that an enemy attack is planned to begin on Thursday morning, only two days away. Stanhope confiscates a letter from Raleigh, insisting on his right to censor it.
Stanhope is in a relationship with Raleigh's sister and is worried that, in the letter, Raleigh will reveal Stanhope's growing alcoholism. Full of self-loathing, Stanhope accedes to Osborne's offer to read the letter for him; the letter is in fact full of praise for Stanhope. The scene ends with Stanhope quietly demurring from Osborne's suggestion to re-seal the envelope. Scene 2 In a meeting with the Sergeant Major it is announced that the attack is taking place on Thursday.
Stanhope and the Sergeant-Major discuss battle plans. The Colonel relays orders that the General wants a raid to take place on the German trench prior to the attack, "a surprise daylight raid", all previous raids having been made under cover of dark, and that they want to be informed of the outcome by seven p. Stanhope states that such a plan is absurd and that the General and his staff merely want this so their dinner will not be delayed.
The Colonel agrees with Stanhope but says that orders are orders and that they must be obeyed. Later it is stated that in a similar raid, after the British artillery bombardment, the Germans had tied red rag to the gaps in the barbed wire so that their soldiers knew exactly where to train their machine guns. It is decided that Osborne and Raleigh will be the officers to go on the raid despite the fact that Raleigh has only recently entered the war. Hibbert goes to Stanhope to complain about the neuralgia he states he has been suffering from.
Hibbert maintains that he does have neuralgia but when Stanhope threatens to shoot him if he goes, he breaks down crying. The two soldiers admit to each other that they feel exactly the same way, and are struggling to cope with the stresses that the war is putting on them. Osborne reads aloud to Trotter from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderlandhis chosen reading and another attempt to escape from the realities of the war.
The scene ends with the idealistic Raleigh, who is untouched by the war, stating that it is "frightfully exciting" that he has been picked for the raid.
The Colonel states that a German soldier needs to be captured so that intelligence can be extracted from him. Osborne admits to Stanhope that he knows he's probably not coming back and asks Stanhope to look after his most cherished possessions and send them to his wife if he does not come back after the raid.
In the minutes before going over the top, Raleigh and Osborne talk about home — the New Forest and the town of Lyndhurst — to pass the time.
Smoke-bombs are fired and the soldiers move towards the German trench, a young German soldier is captured. However Stanhope finds out that Osborne has been killed although Raleigh has survived. Stanhope sarcastically states, "How awfully nice — if the Brigadier's pleased", when the Colonel's first concern is whether information has been gathered, not whether all the soldiers have returned safely.
Six of ten other ranks have in fact been killed.