I think that Sherriff wrote journeys End in 1928 so that he wouldn’t bring back too much bad memories from the war. If he had written it and released it just after the war, it would have caused too much controversy therefore not as much people would have read it.
Journeys End was set in one place, the little dug out, this allows the audience to concentrate on what’s going on at that place and not be distracted by other things in other places.
In Journeys End, the characters use old English, Trotter, Maison, Hibbert and Raleigh use slang throughout the play. Osborne and Stanhope are quite posh and do not use slang.
In the previous scenes Raleigh comes to Stanhope’s company by “pulling some strings”, this means that he proberly asked someone to put him into Stanhope’s company. Stanhope isn’t very pleased that he came to him because he is scared that Raleigh will tell his sister that Stanhope drinks all the time, so he reads Raleigh’s letters, but Raleigh says nice things about Stanhope in them, so Stanhope begins to be a little bit more pleasant about him. Hibbert admits that he is very scared of the trenches, and then Stanhope says that he is. Then nothing much happens until Osborne and Raleigh are told that they have bee picked for a raid, Osborne dies in that raid.
In the previous scene, Stanhope, Trotter and Hibbert are having a little party, laughing and showing each other pictures, they where drinking Champaign. Hibbert tells Stanhope to go to bed and Stanhope gets angry and shouts at Hibbert. Then Raleigh comes into the trench and tells Stanhope that he had eaten with the men and that he “can’t eat when Osborne’s lying out there” then Stanhope shouts more and they all go to bed.
At the start of scene three, the mood has changed, everyone is quiet and it almost seems that they are ready to die, unlike in the previous scene when there was a party, in which they where laughing and talking.
The dugout that the main characters are in is cold, I know this because the playwright says that “Stanhope lies huddled with his blanket drawn tightly round him”, telling me that he is trying to keep warm.
In the last scene, I think that the sounds of shelling build up tension because every couple of pages it would say that the shelling was getting closer, this makes you think that something big will happen when the shelling hits them.
On the day of the battle, Hibbert is scared of going up in the trenches. He tries to put it off by saying that he is “so frightfully thirsty” and Stanhope says that “the longer you stay here, the harder it’ll be to go up”, to Hibbert, Maison tries to persuade Hibbert to go up, it seems that Maison and Hibbert have swapped authorities.
When Raleigh gets injured, Stanhope tells him that “he has caught a blighty one” meaning that he is injured just badly enough for him to go to hospital, and then back home. But we as the audience know that his injury is serious and that he might die. Dramatic irony is used.
I think that R.C Sherriff did a good job evoking pathos in this play. He used good language for the characters and did well to build up tension, especially in the last scene.