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Different Ways Sherriff Reveals Courage To The Audience In Journey's End

2572 words - 10 pages

Different Ways Sherriff Reveals Courage to the Audience in Journey's End

Throughout 'Journey's End', the sheer brutality of the war is
portrayed to the audience in a subtle manner. The thousands of deaths
and the shocking injuries were all facts of life for the soldiers in
the trenches in World War One, but the playwright does not chose to
focus upon these directly. For example, the raid at the end of the
play is not visibly displayed, instead it is created through dramatic
techniques such as lighting, sound effects and setting. In 'Journeys
End', the audience, are fully aware of the horrors that the soldiers
faced. The characters deal with the horrific situation in their own,
different ways, showing astonishing courage throughout the play.

Stanhope is the commander of their company and it is he who dominates
the play. He is a committed, trustworthy, respected soldier, who has
been out in the trenches for the longest period of time. "He's a good
chap" ,"He's a long way the best company commander we've got."
Stanhope is courageous in many ways. He has been out in the war "for
nearly three years" and "he came straight out from school - when he
was eighteen." This shows that he is very knowledgeable and
experienced about the war and everything that is going on, but it also
shows that he has been through an awful lot. The soldiers admire his
determination and courage, for example, Osborne says, "Other men come
over here and go home again ill, and young Stanhope goes on sticking
in, month in month out." This reveals to the audience that Stanhope is
very courageous and loyal to his fellow soldiers.

The audience never doubt that Stanhope is a hero, but like many heroes
he has a

distinctly unpleasant side. He is under immense strain, and as a light
relief to

keep him going, he turns to the help of alcohol. Hardy says to Osborne
that he

"never did see a youngster put away the whiskey he does." Also,
Osborne warns

Raleigh that he should not expect too much from Stanhope, when he
arrives. "You

mustn't expect to find him quite the same…It - it tells on a man
rather badly."

The strain has taken its toll on Stanhope and inside he is under
immense stress and pain, so he turns to drink for comfort of his
nerves, which have "got battered to bits." Yet still

Stanhope is strong and courageous. He could return home if he wanted
to, but he

stays and supports his company and friends. He is organised and
skilful, and it shows courage to take on such a large responsibility
at such a young age.

Stanhope has a very affectionate and deeply touching relationship with
his

second in command, Osborne, or as he prefers to be called, "Uncle."
There is a

very warm and loving conversation when Osborne tucks Stanhope up for
bed.

"[Osborne helps him on to...

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