Journeys End Setting Analysis Essay

Stanhope And Raleigh's Relationship In Journey's End By Rc Sheriff

Stanhope and Raleigh's Relationship in Journey's End


In this essay, I will attempt to discuss the changes and development
in the ongoing and differing relationship between Raleigh and
Stanhope. I will pay particular attention to character movement and
speech, sound, lighting and audience reaction.

Robert Cedric Sherriff was born on June 6, 1896, in Hampton Wick,
England. After attending grammar school at Kingston on Thames,
Sherriff worked in his father's insurance business until he entered
the army to serve as captain in the 9th East Surrey Regiment in World
War I. He was wounded at Passchendaele.

Sherriff was an English playwright and screenwriter is best known for
his World War I play Journey's End, an account of life in the trenches
on the Western Front. Sherriff’s other most famous novel and film
scripts were Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1936) and Odd Man Out (1945).


“Journey’s End” is set in a British officers trench located in Quentin
(France) during World War One, and is based on the author's own
experiences of the Front Line. The play portrays the life lived by
Lieutenant Trotter, Osborne, Stanhope and Raleigh. After being in the
front line commanding a company for 3 years, Lieutenant Stanhope’s
nerves are a wreck. He is a 21 year-old drunk that is adored by his
Men. When Raleigh, a boy who has just left school uses family
connections to get into the same company as his “old friend”, Stanhope
remembers what he used to be before enrolling: athletic, smart, jovial
and happy. Fearing Raleigh will be disgusted with what he has become,
and write back to his sister (Whom Stanhope is in love with), Stanhope
begins to hate and loathe Raleigh, with apparently no reason.
Screaming at Raleigh and trying to censor his letters becomes the norm
in the dugout.

With an offensive from the “Boche” expected, British forces attempt to
fend of the German troops off. During the attack, Raleigh is hit in
the back with shrapnel. Here we see a much more gentle Stanhope,
almost weeping as he lovingly cares for the dieing Raleigh. This is
why the relationship between Stanhope and Raleigh is so intriguing,
with this sudden change of emotion in Stanhope.


World War One lasted through the years 1914 – 1918. It involved two
alliances – The Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia) and The
Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). With every great
super-power in Europe all becoming more and more politically hostile
with each other, and arming themselves more and more, World War One
was a time bomb waiting to explode. When Austria-Hungary Archduke
Franz Ferdinand was on an official visit to the recently claimed
Serbia, a collective of people opposing Austria’s presence in Serbia
assassinated him. Austria-Hungary, being distraught, blamed Serbia,
who denied all knowledge, whom, seeked help from Russia.
Austria-Hungary eventually, invaded Russia with the help of Germany to

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Captain Stanhope’s infantry company entered the front lines on Monday, March 18, 1918, at a time when the Allied Powers were expecting a strong German attack near St. Quentin. Lieutenant Osborne, a middle-aged officer who had been a schoolmaster in civilian life, met Lieutenant Raleigh, a new officer, when the latter arrived at the headquarters dugout. Discovering that Raleigh was an ardent hero worshiper of Captain Stanhope, who was absent at the time, Osborne tried to make the new officer realize that Stanhope’s’ three years in the lines had made a different man of him.

Raleigh could barely realize just how much his friend had changed. Stanhope had become a battle-hardened, cynical infantry officer who drank whiskey incessantly in order to keep his nerves together.

After supper that evening Stanhope confided to Osborne that he was fearful of young Raleigh’s opinion, and he declared that he meant to censor all the young officer’s mail, lest Raleigh reveal to his sister the kind of man Stanhope, her fiance, had become. Stanhope was bitter that Raleigh had landed in his company when there were so many others in France to which he might have been assigned. He was also concerned over Lieutenant Hibbert, another officer who was malingering in an effort to get sent home to England. Stanhope, who hated a quitter, resolved that Hibbert should be forced to stay.

The following morning the company prepared for the expected German attack. Stanhope sent out parties to put up a barbed wire enclosure in case neighboring units were forced to withdraw. Stanhope, having received orders to stand, meant to do so. During the morning Raleigh and Osborne had a long talk and became very friendly. After their talk Raleigh went to write a letter to his sister. When he finished, Stanhope made him hand it over for censoring. Raleigh, after some bitter words, did so. Stanhope, angry with himself for insisting, could not bring himself to read the letter. Osborne, anxious to keep harmony in the company, read it and reported to Stanhope that Raleigh had written only praise of the captain to his sister.

That afternoon word from regimental headquarters reported that the German attack was sure to occur on Thursday morning, and Stanhope hurried up preparations for the expected attack. As he finished a conference with his sergeant major, the colonel commanding the regiment stepped into...

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