Different characters in Journey End take different approaches to the war. Trotter seems to ignore his fate, and Stanhope accuses him of having no inner life at all. In fact, Sherriff is careful to make it clear that this is not the case: ‘Always the same am I? ( He sighs ) Little you know,’ is Trotter’s answer to Stanhope, and it reveals a man – probably the strongest in character of all the officers – who faces death with remarkable good humour and toughness which shows true masculinity. His calendar shows Trotter’s ability to carry on a day-to-day existence of meals and duties without being constantly plagued by thoughts of death.
In this, Trotter contrasts completely with the main character, Stanhope. Stanhope is a young man who is erratic and unpredictable. He entered the war wanting to be a hero, and ends up carrying the burden of this image of heroism. Stanhope feels, ‘– as long as the hero’s a hero.’ This shows him trying to be masculine and know it has become a burden.
In the scene where Stanhope threatens to shoot Hibbert with his revolver it shows the way in which the weaker man is manipulated by the stronger it includes an important lesson in what lies at the core of Stanhope’s psychology. At the end of the ordeal Stanhope says to Hibbert Good man, Hibbert. I liked the way you stuck that,’ it is as though he is inducting Hibbert into the mental state in which facing the certainty of death actually brings about a new strength of character. Showing that facing death is being truly masculine and anything other than that will make him a coward
Hibbert is portrayed as...