In What Way Does R.C. Sheriff Recreate for His Audience the Stress and Fear Suffered by the Men at the Western Front?

Topics: Journey's End, World War I, R. C. Sherriff Pages: 4 (1282 words) Published: September 7, 2010
In what way does R.C. Sheriff recreate for his audience the stress and fear suffered by the men at the western front?

'Journey's End' by R.C. Sherriff is filled with very tense scenes throughout the play. One in particular and the focus point on this essay is Act Two scene One, which endeavours to educate the audience about the true horrors of life at the front. Sherriff, who was wounded at Passchendaele in 1917, wrote from his experience of the war. He creates scenes that are very realistic, and because of his experiences, it helps the audience to believe the play more and understand the difficulties the soldiers faced. The title, 'Journey's End' creates a negative image immediately. It implies death, the end of life and the loss of innocence. Act Two Scene one shows this in great depth, as Sherriff uses methods to re-create the overwhelming stress of trench warfare. He describes every aspect of the trenches, the guns and the whole life to emphasises the tragedy. With this understanding of the trenches, the reader are helped in imagining what it must have been like to live there. In the play, R.C Sheriff looks into the characters in the dug out. Fear within this play takes a dramatic impact on most of the play it also shows how different people in the same situation coped in the first world war, with humour, alcohol, focusing on normality before the war.

Act Two scene One looks into the emotions of the characters; the officers, Stanhope, Osborne, Raleigh, Trotter, Hibbert . An example of this is Trotter he hides his emotions by being humorous with Mason as he keeps his mind on food ‘Trotter: well there’s nothing like a good fat bacon rasher when your as empty as I am, Mason: I’m glad you like it fat sir. Trotter: well, I like a bit O’ lean, too’, this shows that the writer is showing the reader that people dealt with stress and fear in different ways. The humour keeps every one occupied which keeps the soldiers minds of the war and into their...
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