I really enjoyed this play, I loved the care and attention to detail through the characters and the stage directions. The plot was very interesting, and the context was accrete to events at the time of the first world war and the lead up to the first world war. I particularly liked Rudyard’s speech In scene four, as this relates to many other speeches that were said at the time. I enjoy how the play explores different themes such as friendship, loyalty, trust, worry, pride, hate, and so on. I prefer MBJ to journey’s End as I liked how it showed the contrast between the past and the present as well as the contrast of England and France.
Today has been, well what do I say? I recruited into the army, full stop. Dick and Bob practicly pushed me to the town square, blimey it was full of people. “Roll up, roll up, come one! Fight against the Hun! Who will be the first? Roll up, roll up!” the sergeant shouted. Children waved union jacks in the air and the band played wildly. Bob ran up to the front and the sergeant and villagers cheered. Dick followed on, his mum cried with joy. Old George said “go on boy, this is your chance!” Dick and Bob beckoned for me, I had to go did I? Three more men went up, four, five. I sighed and ran up the stairs. “That was a brilliant move my boy,” Old George shouted along with everyone in the square. I signed my name. Aaaah, what will I tell Ma? At…
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Dear Ma and Pa,
I have been bored since I got in the trench. Sergeant Bennett is even worse than he used to be! Guess what! Dick, Bob and Harry have been told to clean the latrine trench so finally I get peace. Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored is all I hear, oh as well as “time to do the morning hate.” Bob is so clumsy! His arm has broke from falling off his bunk, his shoes are holey and his thumb has been scared. The morning hate is horrible! You get woken up at six in the morning, then we shave, get dressed and clean our rifles. The bad day starts when we stand on the fire-step and wait for the Germans to attack. Dick refused to do this so he had to go and fix the barbed wire. The reason Harry is cleaning the latrine…
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“You’ll find the other officers call me uncle” Shows how kind and dependable Osborne can be.
“Because he’s stuck it till his nerves have got battered to bits, he’s called a drunkard” This quote shows how much Osborne cares about Stanhope and also how much he respects him.
‘Help me’ -Bowe act two scene three page 65
Journey’s End Timeline
Act one– The night of the 18th of Mach, a Monday
This is a very busy act, were we are introduced to the characters of Hardy, a soldier who is leaving to join a different rank. We are also introduced to Osborne, who is speaking to hardy; we see that the two of them are getting along well showing that Osborne is a friendly. We meet Manson, the officer’s cook, who is hard working and obedient. Raleigh enters as the new officer and is very young and naive about the war. Stanhope is the leading officer of the rank, and is extremely allthotive and wants everything to run like clockwork. We also meet the two other remaining soldiers, Trotter who is a humours man, but is always thinking about food, and finally Hibbert, a shy man who complains about is neuralgia.
In the first act hardy is talking to Osborne, and Hardy is about to leave. Hardy leaves, and at this point Raleigh enters as a new solider and is ready to get started. Stanhope then comes in the link is made that Raleigh and Stanhope knew each other at school, although this is not shown by Stanhope. The men eat together and complain of the quantity.
There is a moment where Hibbert and Stanhope are alone, and Hibbert first brings up his neuralgia, and refuses to eat, although Stanhope stands his ground and doesn’t let him home.
We then see Osborne alone with Stanhope and they discuss Raleigh and how he looks up to Stanhope and the fact he is so happy to be in his platoon. We also discover Stanhope’s alcoholism, and how he relies partly on Osborne to look after him when he is drunk.
Act two scene one – 19th march, Tuesday morning
The men are talking about breakfast and petty things like pepper. They reflect about what their lives were like at home and the activates they did. Raleigh enters and speaks about how he feels time is going slowly, before the convocation swings back to normal life in England. Stanhope enters and formalises the mood and requests whiskey. Stanhope orders Raleigh around to check riffles. Raleigh goes to send a letter and Stanhope demand to see it, this results in Stanhope getting very angry, and when Osborne reads him the continences of the letter Stanhope learns Raleigh was only praising Stanhope.
Act two, scene two – Tuesday the 19th the evening
We meet the character of the Sargent major for the first time as well as the colonel and learn that they are very authoritative characters, and both worry about Stanhope. They discuss a big push as well as Hibbert.
Hibbert approaches Stanhope and is so fretful about his neuralgia and begs Stanhope to shoot him. But Stanhope gets him to pull himself together.
Stanhope informs Osborne of the big push and he explains that he wants Osborne and Raleigh along with other men to do it.
Act three scene one – towards dawn, thursday
The men are getting ready to go over the top, they keep trying to distract each other from thinking about what is to come.
A German is captured and the men interrogate him in the dugout, but not very well as they do not know much German.
Raleigh mad it back alive with some other men, however Osborne did not make it. The other men celebrate the victory however Raleigh is extremely upset at the death of his friend.
Act three – scene two later that evening
All the men are getting drunk and celebrating except for Raleigh who refuses to do so out of respect. This angers Stanhope, and Stanhope reveals some of his true emotions of fear and sorrow.
Act three – scene three near dawn
There is a shell attack on the dugout, and it gets worse and worse. Raleigh gets hit in the back and taken back into the dugout. Stanhope stays with him as Raleigh is approaching the end of his life. He asks to be kept warm and then dies.