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Analyse the Role of the Key Characters and their Development in 'Journey's End'

In this worksheet, students will revise the key characters presented in 'Journey's End', consider how they were presented throughout the play and how they reflect the context in which Sherriff was writing.

'Analyse the Role of the Key Characters and their Development in 'Journey's End'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

How are each of the characters important in 'Journey's End'?

 

War memorial and cross with a poppy.

 

We must remember that Sherriff had first hand experience of fighting during World War One.

 

He would have met lots of different men during his time in combat and there is no doubt that many of his characters would have been inspired by the real people he met and the values he saw in them.

 

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

 

You will need to think about how they are important to the play as a whole. Think about why Sherriff has included them - how do they reflect something about the context in which Sherriff was writing?

 

Remember that is important to use quotations throughout your exam response to support each of your points.

 

Have a go at the following questions which will help you to think about the importance of each character in 'Journey's End.'

 

Sherriff presents each of his characters with different attributes.

 

Match the character to their key attributes below.

Column A

Column B

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

Which of the quotations below present aspects of Stanhope's character? Choose all relevant ones.

' Now he's decided he's done his bit.'

'he's a little bit quick-tempered.'

'you mustn't expect to find him - quite the same.'

'without being doped with whiskey - I'd go mad with fright.'

'His nerves are sound.'

'He's a fine company commander.'

'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 an aspects of Osborne's character. Write the word that best describes Osborne's reaction here.

 

 

 

We also see how loyal, sensitive and compassionate Osborne is. Sherriff presents these chararacteristics to us particularly through Osborne's relationship with Stanhope.

 

Look at your text. In the part of Act 1 beginning with 'Osborne: Will you sleep here?' and ending with 'Sleep? - I can't sleep.', which quotation would you pick out to show how Osborne often acts as a father figure to Stanhope?

 

Remember to use quotation marks.

 

 

Why is Hibbert important to the play overall?

 

Click on all relevant answers below.

Hibbert represents the men who were psychologically damaged by the extreme fear of the daily horrors of war.

Sherriff employs Hibbert to celebrate the bravery of the men fighting on the front line.

Sherriff juxtaposes Hibbert against characters such as Osborne, to highlight how despite all men facing fear and anxiety, some reacted with bravery and some with cowardice.

Hibbert represents the loyalty and comradeship that was key to the success of the brotherhood in the trenches.

Hibbert is a desperate man who fails to work as part of the brotherhood, allowing Sherriff to criticise those who were disloyal to the men they served with.

Match the quotations to the sentence that shows the role that Raleigh fulfills in the play.

Column A

Column B

Raleigh represents how young the soldiers were dur...
'How topping if we both get the MC!'
Sherriff highlights how naive many of the young me...
'he's got hundreds of strange things to learn.'
Sherriff demonstrates the innocence that young men...
'Keen to get out here'
Raleigh demonstrates the idealism displayed by you...
'I only left school at the end of last summer.'

Trotter is used by Sherriff to highlight how boredom and endless waiting were unseen horrors of war.

 

Complete the passage below to explore how the character is used to present these themes.

 

Column A

Column B

Raleigh represents how young the soldiers were dur...
'How topping if we both get the MC!'
Sherriff highlights how naive many of the young me...
'he's got hundreds of strange things to learn.'
Sherriff demonstrates the innocence that young men...
'Keen to get out here'
Raleigh demonstrates the idealism displayed by you...
'I only left school at the end of last summer.'

The Colonel is presented as insensitive and naive to the realities of the front line, allowing Sherriff to criticise the higher ranking decision makers in the army. However, like many of Sherriff's characters, the Colonel is presented as having some admirable qualities, despite his flaws.

 

Underline the sentence in the following passage that shows Sherriff encouraging his audience to sympathise with the position the Colonel is in.

 

Stanhope: Meanwhile the Boche are sitting over there with a dozen machine- guns trained on that hole - waiting for our fellows to come. Colonel: Well, I can\'t disobey orders. Stanhope: Why didn\'t the trench-mortars blow a dozen holes in different places -so the Boche wouldn\'t know which we were going to use?

The ending of the play reveals more about the character of Stanhope. Match the quotations with the values they convey about Stanhope.

 

Try to look at the quotations in context by referring to the last few pages of the play.

 'It's just gone through a bit Jimmy.''The longer you stay here the harder it'll be to go up'' All right Broughton I'm coming.'' Bring him down here.''It's all right old chap.'
An encouraging leader
Compassionate
Comforting
Sensitive
Resilient

Now that you have revised the key characters and considered their importance in the play, it is time to have a go at writing a mini essay response.

 

Remember that in the exam you will need to link back to context - how does the character convey something about the context in which the play is written?

 

You will also need to use quotations to support each of your points.

 

 

For this activity, try to write 3 separate paragraphs each containing a separate point about the character.

 

Task: Explain how Raleigh is important in 'Journey's End'.

  • 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

Which of the quotations below present aspects of Stanhope's character? Choose all relevant ones.

CORRECT ANSWER
'he's a little bit quick-tempered.'
'you mustn't expect to find him - quite the same.'
'without being doped with whiskey - I'd go mad with fright.'
'He's a fine company commander.'
EDDIE SAYS
Nearly! You should've found four that are about Stanhope. Sherriff presents Stanhope as a tragic hero - he has many admirable qualities but he's also flawed. Sherriff shows us the hard working and loyal characteristics that Stanhope possesses, particularly through Osborne's perspective of him. However he also uses this character as a tool to show how even the strongest leaders were psychologically affected by the horrors of war as we see how Stanhope drinks heavily to distract himself from this harsh reality. Sherriff reflects how good men were irrevocably changed by what they saw and experienced whilst at war.
  • Question 3

'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 an aspects of Osborne's character. Write the word that best describes Osborne's reaction here.

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Brave
EDDIE SAYS
Another good try! Sherriff often juxtaposes his characters to highlight key aspects of them. Note how this scene comes just after seeing Hibbert extremely fearful and desperate to be sent to hospital, away from the front line. This offers a complete contrast to Osborne's behaviour which serves to highlight the bravery Osborne shows here. He accepts that he will 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 and highlights how loyalty and duty were essential to the success of the brotherhood during the war.
  • Question 4

We also see how loyal, sensitive and compassionate Osborne is. Sherriff presents these chararacteristics to us particularly through Osborne's relationship with Stanhope.

 

Look at your text. In the part of Act 1 beginning with 'Osborne: Will you sleep here?' and ending with 'Sleep? - I can't sleep.', which quotation would you pick out to show how Osborne often acts as a father figure to Stanhope?

 

Remember to use quotation marks.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
' I wish you'd turn in and sleep for a bit.'
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Sherriff shows Osborne comforting and looking after Stanhope in his more vulnerable moments, despite Stanhope being above Osborne in the hierarchy. Sherriff shows us how important companionship would've been in the trenches, often the only thing helping a man to survive the horrific conditions and traumatising experiences that was the reality of war. Sherriff conveys to his audience the strong sense of brotherhood he would've experienced during his time in the trenches.
  • Question 5

Why is Hibbert important to the play overall?

 

Click on all relevant answers below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Hibbert represents the men who were psychologically damaged by the extreme fear of the daily horrors of war.
Sherriff juxtaposes Hibbert against characters such as Osborne, to highlight how despite all men facing fear and anxiety, some reacted with bravery and some with cowardice.
Hibbert is a desperate man who fails to work as part of the brotherhood, allowing Sherriff to criticise those who were disloyal to the men they served with.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find all three? Hibbert contrasts most of the other characters presented by Sherriff. Whilst the audience can understand the extreme and debilitating fear that all of the soldiers either inwardly or outwardly faced, Sherriff highlights how Hibbert is cowardly and fails to work as a team in the spirit of comradeship. Stanhope's reaction when he says' could you ever look a man straight in the face again?' emphasises here the importance of duty and loyalty to your fellow men during the war.
  • Question 6

Match the quotations to the sentence that shows the role that Raleigh fulfills in the play.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Raleigh represents how young the ...
'I only left school at the end of...
Sherriff highlights how naive man...
'Keen to get out here'
Sherriff demonstrates the innocen...
'he's got hundreds of strange thi...
Raleigh demonstrates the idealism...
'How topping if we both get the M...
EDDIE SAYS
Have you checked that you matched them all correctly? Sherriff reflects how young and innocent many of the men at war were. He often describes them as 'boys' and focuses on them being just out of school. He highlights how this meant that lots of the men going to war began with a naive and idealistic view of what it'd be like to fight as a soldier, having been sold false ideas of heroism through the recruitment propaganda of the time. Raleigh's death at the end of the play juxtaposes this idealistic beginning and highlights how so much young and hopeful life was wasted in the war when the harsh reality was realised.
  • Question 7

Trotter is used by Sherriff to highlight how boredom and endless waiting were unseen horrors of war.

 

Complete the passage below to explore how the character is used to present these themes.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A good try! Trotter's one of the most humorous characters in the play, often used by Sherriff to bring light relief amidst the endless waiting and anticipation. In this way he can be seen as one of the bravest characters, keeping spirits high in the trenches for himself and for the men around him. Sherriff shows how important characters like Trotter were to keeping the spirit of brotherhood strong. This is all the more significant when considering that Trotter is one of the least educated men, allowing Sherriff to comment on how inner strength isn't related to social class.
  • Question 8

The Colonel is presented as insensitive and naive to the realities of the front line, allowing Sherriff to criticise the higher ranking decision makers in the army. However, like many of Sherriff's characters, the Colonel is presented as having some admirable qualities, despite his flaws.

 

Underline the sentence in the following passage that shows Sherriff encouraging his audience to sympathise with the position the Colonel is in.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Stanhope: Meanwhile the Boche are sitting over there with a dozen machine- guns trained on that hole - waiting for our fellows to come.
Colonel: Well, I can't disobey orders.
Stanhope: Why didn't the trench-mortars blow a dozen holes in different places -so the Boche wouldn't know which we were going to use?
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Sherriff stresses that although the Colonel has to deliver the orders to complete the raid, he's also only taking orders from someone else. Sherriff reminds us that there are unseen superiors making decisions. The fact that the audience never sees these decision makers on stage, only serves to highlight how far removed they are from the harsh realities of the front line. Stanhope's questioning allows Sherriff to present his questions about the choices that were made and indeed many of these would be felt personally by his audience.
  • Question 9

The ending of the play reveals more about the character of Stanhope. Match the quotations with the values they convey about Stanhope.

 

Try to look at the quotations in context by referring to the last few pages of the play.

CORRECT ANSWER
 'It's just gone through a bit Jimmy.''The longer you stay here the harder it'll be to go up'' All right Broughton I'm coming.'' Bring him down here.''It's all right old chap.'
An encouraging leader
Compassionate
Comforting
Sensitive
Resilient
EDDIE SAYS
Did you match them all? The ending of the play really reveals so much about Stanhope's character. We truly see a heroic leader! He manages to encourage Hibbert to go up with the other men; he comforts Raleigh beautifully in his dying moments and shows the most compassion when asking him to be brought down to him after his injury, despite their earlier conflict; he deals with Raleigh's questions calmly and sensitively, putting Raleigh at complete ease in his last few moments; and finally, after seeing Raleigh pass away on Osborne's bed, he summons the strength to continue and carry on for the other men, going up himself. Sherriff shows that the extreme fear and the drinking to cope, does not take away how heroic men like Stanhope were in the war.
  • Question 10

Now that you have revised the key characters and considered their importance in the play, it is time to have a go at writing a mini essay response.

 

Remember that in the exam you will need to link back to context - how does the character convey something about the context in which the play is written?

 

You will also need to use quotations to support each of your points.

 

 

For this activity, try to write 3 separate paragraphs each containing a separate point about the character.

 

Task: Explain how Raleigh is important in 'Journey's End'.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this - Sherriff employs the character of Raleigh to show how young men going to war often had false ideals of heroism. The recruitment propaganda at the time was seen to encourage men to become heroes by fighting for their country. We see Raleigh joining the company already 'hero-worshipping' Stanhope who he knows previously from school. Raleigh admires how the last time he saw Stanhope 'he'd just got his MC and been made a captain. He looked splendid!', conveying how he looks up to men like Stanhope who have been awarded for their bravery. It is Stanhope himself who highlights how dangerous this kind of false idealism is stating that he feels far from heroic and that without drink he'd 'go mad with fright.' Sherriff shows his audience that many young men joined the battle lines hopeful but innocent to the harsh reality that would inevitably and irrevocably change them forever.
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