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Identify and Explain Key Characters in 'Journey's End'

In this worksheet, students will learn to understand key information about each of the characters presented in 'Journey's End'.

'Identify and Explain Key Characters in 'Journey's End'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   Pearson Edexcel

Curriculum topic:   Post-1914 Play or Novel

Curriculum subtopic:   Journey's End

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

What do you already know about each of the characters below?

Soldiers on the front line

 

Hardy

Stanhope

Osborne

Raleigh

Hibbert

Trotter

Mason

The Colonel

 

In the exam, you may be asked to comment on a character in Journey's End.

 

It is important that you understand the key attributes of each of the key characters in the play.

 

You will also need to use quotations to support each of your points about the character and discuss how a character reflects the context in which Sherriff was writing.

 

Have a go at the following questions which will help you to build your understanding of each of these characters.

Sherriff presents each of his characters with different attributes.

 

Match the character to their key attributes below.

Column A

Column B

Colonel
Fearful and cowardly
Stanhope
Less educated, brave and loyal
Osborne
A strong leader who has turned to drink to cope wi...
Raleigh
Respected, loyal and brave
Hibbert
Young, hopeful and naive
Trotter
Insensitive and naive
Mason
Humorous, likeable and brave

Who is Osborne referring to in the quotation: "He's a long way the best commander we've got"?

 

Write your answer below.

Which of the quotations below are also about Stanhope?

"It's a big strain on a man"

"Another little worm trying to wriggle home"

"You mustn't expect to find him - quite the same"

"He's never had a rest"

"His nerves are sound"

The relationships between the characters in the play reveal further aspects of their character to the audience. Complete the passage below to show how Sherriff presents Osborne as a trustworthy and loyal companion.

"It's a big strain on a man"

"Another little worm trying to wriggle home"

"You mustn't expect to find him - quite the same"

"He's never had a rest"

"His nerves are sound"

"Stanhope: The Colonel picked you to direct and Raleigh to dash in.

 

Osborne: I see.

 

Stanhope: The brigade wants to know who's opposite here.

 

Osborne: Tomorrow? What time?"

 

In the scene where Stanhope tells Osborne he will lead the raid, Sherriff reveals another of Osborne's key characteristics. Write out a word to describe Osborne's reaction.

Hibbert is juxtaposed against the character of Osborne. Choose all of the words below that accurately describe his character.

Fearful

Brave

Cowardly

Loyal

Desperate

Match the following quotations to the attributes of Raleigh's character.

 "It's most frightfully exciting""I only left school at the end of last summer""I'm his hero""He'll realise that men are-different-out here"
Young
Innocent
Naive
Idealistic

Trotter is presented as a humorous character, often talking about food as a means of distraction. However he is also shown to be loyal and respected.

 

Which of the quotations below highlight how respected and liked he is in the company?

"Stanhope: You realise you're my second in command now, don't you?"

"Trotter: He's not a bad cook"

"Osborne: Trotter's plan to make the time pass quickly. One hundred and forty-four little circles"

Sheriff presents the Colonel as insensitive, naive and lacking humanity immediately after the death of Osborne.

 

Sheriff uses Stanhope's reaction to the Colonel's comments after the raid to criticise his naivity at sending the men into the raid to be killed.

 

What does Stanhope say in this scene that highlights the Colonel's naive decision making?

 

Write out the quotation below, remembering to use quotation marks.

The end of the play sees the death of Raleigh and reveals more about the character of Stanhope.

 

Which characteristic of Stanhope does this scene reveal the most?

Fear

Compassion

Bravery

  • Question 1

Sherriff presents each of his characters with different attributes.

 

Match the character to their key attributes below.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Colonel
Insensitive and naive
Stanhope
A strong leader who has turned to...
Osborne
Respected, loyal and brave
Raleigh
Young, hopeful and naive
Hibbert
Fearful and cowardly
Trotter
Humorous, likeable and brave
Mason
Less educated, brave and loyal
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? Look closely at the characteristics and make sure you've used the most appropriate ones. It's always useful to reread a text. In your rereading, try to think more about each of the characters and create a list of key words you'd use to describe each one.
  • Question 2

Who is Osborne referring to in the quotation: "He's a long way the best commander we've got"?

 

Write your answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Stanhope
EDDIE SAYS
Did you go back to your text to check? It's always a good idea to see quotations in context. Stanhope is shown as well respected and a strong leader in this quotation. Sherriff shows us this information to highlight that even the best soldiers have flaws, as, in this same scene, Hardy criticises Stanhope's heavy drinking. Sherriff ensures that we see all aspects of his character, positive and negative.
  • Question 3

Which of the quotations below are also about Stanhope?

CORRECT ANSWER
"It's a big strain on a man"
"You mustn't expect to find him - quite the same"
"He's never had a rest"
EDDIE SAYS
Sherriff ensures that he shows us both the hard working and loyal characteristics that Stanhope possesses, but also uses the character as a tool to show how even the strongest leaders were psychologically affected by the horrors of war. We see how Stanhope drinks heavily to distract himself from this harsh reality.
  • Question 4

The relationships between the characters in the play reveal further aspects of their character to the audience. Complete the passage below to show how Sherriff presents Osborne as a trustworthy and loyal companion.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Whilst Osborne is a companion to all of the characters in the play, his relationship with Stanhope stands out as particularly special. Sherriff shows Osborne comforting and looking after Stanhope in his more vulnerable moments. For example, we see his concern when Osborne says to Stanhope, "I wish you'd turn in and sleep for a bit".
  • Question 5

"Stanhope: The Colonel picked you to direct and Raleigh to dash in.

 

Osborne: I see.

 

Stanhope: The brigade wants to know who's opposite here.

 

Osborne: Tomorrow? What time?"

 

In the scene where Stanhope tells Osborne he will lead the raid, Sherriff reveals another of Osborne's key characteristics. Write out a word to describe Osborne's reaction.

CORRECT ANSWER
Brave
EDDIE SAYS
Note how this scene comes just after seeing Hibbert desperate to be sent home. This further highlights the bravery Osborne shows here. He accepts that he'll be sent to lead the raid in a calm and matter of fact manner. He displays very little outward fear. Sherriff shows how dutiful Osborne is, making him one of the most likeable characters. This only serves to heighten the tragedy of him being killed in this raid.
  • Question 6

Hibbert is juxtaposed against the character of Osborne. Choose all of the words below that accurately describe his character.

CORRECT ANSWER
Fearful
Cowardly
Desperate
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find all three? We see Hibbert asking to be sent to hospital for treatment for his neuralgia. However, as the conversation progresses, it becomes clear that actually he's struggling with deep fear. He says "Every sound up there makes me all - cold and sick". Whilst the audience can understand the extreme and debilitating fear that all of the soldiers either inwardly or outwardly faced, Sherriff suggests cowardice behind this through Stanhope's reaction when he says "could you ever look a man straight in the face again?".
  • Question 7

Match the following quotations to the attributes of Raleigh's character.

CORRECT ANSWER
 "It's most frightfully exciting""I only left school at the end of last summer""I'm his hero""He'll realise that men are-different-out here"
Young
Innocent
Naive
Idealistic
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that it's important to look at the connotations of words. What do the words suggest to us about this character? For example, Sherriff shows us Raleigh's naivity through his comment about the raid being "exciting". The other characters have already shown us the harsh reality of war, but Raleigh is yet to experience this as a new soldier. Raleigh's hopeful and idealistic beginning only serves to make his death at the end of the play more tragic.
  • Question 8

Trotter is presented as a humorous character, often talking about food as a means of distraction. However he is also shown to be loyal and respected.

 

Which of the quotations below highlight how respected and liked he is in the company?

CORRECT ANSWER
"Stanhope: You realise you're my second in command now, don't you?"
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one! We don't learn as much about Trotter as some of the other characters, but his promotion after Osborne's death, shows the audience that he's well respected by Stanhope and can be trusted to fill Osborne's position. In the other quotations, we learn more about how he distracts himself from the harsh reality of war by focusing on the mundane. We also see his compassion coming through in his compliment of Mason's cooking.
  • Question 9

Sheriff presents the Colonel as insensitive, naive and lacking humanity immediately after the death of Osborne.

 

Sheriff uses Stanhope's reaction to the Colonel's comments after the raid to criticise his naivity at sending the men into the raid to be killed.

 

What does Stanhope say in this scene that highlights the Colonel's naive decision making?

 

Write out the quotation below, remembering to use quotation marks.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Did you expect them to be all safely back, sir?"
EDDIE SAYS
The Colonel makes a lot of insensitive comments in this conversation, however, this quotation really shows his naivity at sending the men in to complete this raid. Stanhope's reaction questions the Colonel's decision making here and his lack of knowledge of the reality of fighting on the front line.
  • Question 10

The end of the play sees the death of Raleigh and reveals more about the character of Stanhope.

 

Which characteristic of Stanhope does this scene reveal the most?

CORRECT ANSWER
Compassion
EDDIE SAYS
We've certainly seen all of these characteristics in Stanhope throughout the play, but in this scene we really see the compassionate side of Stanhope coming through. We see him comfort Raleigh in his dying moments, despite earlier conflict with him. He calls him by his first name, Jimmy, and does all he can to put him at ease. This adds further meaning to the title 'Journey's End' highlighting such humanity in Raleigh's death amidst such inhumanity. You've completed the activity - well done!
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