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An Analysis of Journey’s End by R. C. Sherriff Essay

Page 95 “Trotter comes in, fully dressed for the line” to page 98 “Mason following from behind”. Explore the ways in which Sherriff makes this a dramatic and revealing moment in the play. (Trotter, Raleigh and Hibbert leaving for the attack).

Sherriff makes this extract dramatic and revealing by creating tension and suspense. This is shown in the stage directions, “Suddenly there comes the faint whistle and thud of falling shells-a few seconds between each. Stanhope and Trotter listen intently, four shells, then silence.”

This is dramatic because when Stanhope and Trotter listen “intently” it makes the audience wonder what they are listening and when silence falls it reveals that the big attack is about to happen. This is also evident previously when Stanhope is talking to the Sergeant Major which builds tension and suspense.

Sherriff makes this extract revealing by the nervous actions Stanhope. This is evident in the stage directions, “(without looking up)”, “(still writing with lowered head).” This is revealing because these actions towards Raleigh reveal that he doesn’t like the fact that Raleigh is going to be taking part in the attack due to the lack of eye contact shown which reveals he is hiding his emotions.

This is because there is a lot of previous history between Stanhope and Raleigh which makes Stanhope feels uneasy. This uneasiness is shown throughout the play especially during the letter scene. Sherriff makes this extract dramatic during the dialogue between Stanhope and Hibbert with the aggression towards Hibbert from Stanhope. This is shown when Stanhope says, “(sharply) Wake up, man! What the devil’s the matter with you?).”

This is dramatic because of the exclamations Stanhope uses towards Hibbert shows that Stanhope is loosing his temper with Hibbert and makes the audience think that something is going to happen between them. This aggression towards Hibbert is shown throughout the play because Hibbert believes he has “neuralgia” but Stanhope knows he doesn’t and is just scared of going on the front-line.

Sherriff makes this extract revealing when Hibbert is leaving the dug-out and going to the front-line as he shows his nervousness. This is evident in the stage directions, “Hibbert looks at Stanhope for a moment, then with a slight smile, he goes slowly up the steps and into the trench, Mason following behind.” This is revealing because the “slight smile” reveals that he is reluctant to go to the front-line and the fact he goes up the steps “slowly” emphasises this. This nervousness from Hibbert happens throughout the play as he supposedly has “neuralgia” which shows he is unwilling to go to the front-line.

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