How Does Sheriff present human weakness to create tension within the pages 54 to 59?
‘Journeys End’ by R.C. Sheriff is a World War One play following the life of Commander Stanhope and his men and how the war affects them. It was first performed in 1928 and Sheriff’s use of realism shocked the contemporary audience. Sheriff’s aim, I think, was to educate the audience on the events of the war and especially its affects on soldiers as there is very little actual violence on stage, so it is left to the imagination of the audience and this also allows the audience to focus on the characters and how Sheriff creates tension by presenting human weakness especially on pages 54 – 59.
This scene focuses on Stanhope and Hibbert, Hibbert tries to escape the trench faking an illness. He uses possessive pronouns when describing his ‘neuralgia of mine’ this shows that he thinks the pain is his, and only his and therefore Stanhope and the other men can not feel the same way, this begins to cause tension when Hibbert tries to leave and Stanhope tells him that he is ‘going to stay here’ he says the ‘quietly’ which completely contrasts to Stanhope earlier in the scene and shows to the audience that he is beginning to lose his patience and temper.
The characters Stanhope and Hibbert are diametrically opposed and Sheriff presents Stanhope as a teacher/parental figure with Hibbert talking ‘hysterically’ there is a high amount of punctuation in Hibbert’s speech, causing him to make very short, erratic statements like ‘I’m going; I’ve got all my stuff packed’ this is very similar to a child throwing a tantrum, but Stanhope is the complete opposite he omits bravery which can be seen by the way he shrugs off the pain he claims to have, saying how he has ‘had it for weeks’ and the way Stanhope cuts Hibbert off in the mid sentence with declarative statements like ‘I’ve seen the doctor’ is very similar to the way a parent would treat a stropping child, so on stage to an audience it...
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