Main themes of Journey's End

Short piece just listing the main themes of R.C. Sherriff's Journey's End

"How men really lived in the trenches, how they talked and how they behaved"

- R.C. SHERRIFF

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Scene
Always in the dug out cramped, claustrophobic
Over 4 days short space of time v. condensed, confined
Set in Spring new beginning beginning of the end
Not much hope
V. unhygienic in trenches
Quiet suspense, sinister
Themes
Time
o constantly mentioned running out
Boredom in trenches
o nothing to do but wait
Coming attack
o creates tension, suspense, apprehension
Youth of soldiers
o Raleigh straight from school emphasised by his naivety
o Loss of lives
Stanhope's drinking
o how war changes men
o drinks to dull his imagination, to forget
Friendship
o Osborne's love of Stanhope
o Stanhope's dependency on Osborne
Futility of war
o not getting anywhere normal people dragged into the war cost of
human lives
o Rugby = organised fighting, in war they're playing for their lives
o Don't really know what's going on
o Germans are the same as themS
Bad supplies
o food, boots etc

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Osborne looks after others
o "Uncle"
Lost past
Raleigh's hero worship of Stanhope
o Emphasis of youth
Stanhope's efficiency looked up to by all
Mason diffuses tension comic
Belittling the war to make it controllable
Importance of trivial things in an inverted world
Similarities in Stanhope and Hibbert, differences in how they cope with it
Their impending deaths…read more

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