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Evaluate Key Characters and their Development in 'Journey's End'

In this worksheet, students will consider the importance of key characters in the play 'Journey's End' in relation to the context in which the play was written. Students will then think about how to offer personal and perceptive responses in the exam.

'Evaluate Key Characters and their Development 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

 

thought bubble

 

Is Hibbert purely dislikeable?

 

Is Trotter just a humorous character?

 

How does Raleigh change as the play progresses?

 

Is Osborne always brave and willing?

 

 

To achieve the highest marks in your exam response, you will need to offer a personal and perceptive interpretation.

 

This means that you need to ask questions of the characters. Think about all of the different ways we might view them - positive and negative. Think about whether they change throughout the play. Try to evaluate how far we can say they possess a particular characteristic.

 

In this activity, you'll need to think more about your personal response to each of the characters by exploring their characteristics more deeply.

 

 

Think about how far you would say Sherriff presents Stanhope as a true hero.

 

Consider the events below and click on those that show his heroic qualities.

 

He is flawed. He drinks heavily to cope with the extreme fear he feels

He is a strong leader that is able to question senior decision making

He belittles Hibbert when he begs to be sent to hospital for treatment

He shows strong leadership skills when he is able to talk Hibbert around and encourage him to stay

He shows sensitivity and compassion for Raleigh in his dying moments, forgetting about their earlier conflict

Osborne appears to be presented as one of the most level headed, calm, loyal and brave men throughout the play. Do we ever see another side to Osborne?

 

Complete the passage below to help explore this question. You will not need to use quotation marks here.

He is flawed. He drinks heavily to cope with the extreme fear he feels

He is a strong leader that is able to question senior decision making

He belittles Hibbert when he begs to be sent to hospital for treatment

He shows strong leadership skills when he is able to talk Hibbert around and encourage him to stay

He shows sensitivity and compassion for Raleigh in his dying moments, forgetting about their earlier conflict

Trotter is presented as a humorous character. Which of the statements do you think is most true?

Trotter is a brave and courageous character who feels very little fear

Trotter is a brave and humorous character, but recognises himself that he feels fear just like the others

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

How do we feel about Hibbert after the end of the play?

 

Match the quotation to the most relevant audience response.

 

Column A

Column B

The audience would feel some sympathy for Hibbert,...
"The longer you stay here, the harder it'll be to ...
An audience would see some of Hibbert's behaviour ...
"I can't bear it any longer"
Despite some cowardly behaviour earlier in the pla...
"He goes slowly up the steps and into the trench"
Sherriff presents Hibbert as a dislikeable charact...
"Doesn't his repulsive little mind make you sick?"

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...
"I only left school at the end of last summer"
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...
"How topping if we both get the MC!"

Raleigh inevitably changes after the death of Osborne. He is visibly traumatised by what he has witnessed and can't understand how everyone carries on like nothing has happened. This is where we see Raleigh lose his previous innocence.

 

In his conversation with Stanhope after the raid, which stage direction shows how much he has been affected by what he has witnessed.

 

Look at the section of text from "I'm not hungry" to "But-how can you when-?"

 

Remember to use quotation marks.

The ending of the play reveals a lot about each of the characters. Match the quotations to what they show about a character.

 

 Even in his dying moments Raleigh is dutifulHibbert is presented as cowardly and fearfulTrotter is presented as brave and loyalMason is presented as brave and loyalStanhope is weary from trying to be the brave leader that others can look up to
"I'll go right along sir"
"You're just wasting as much time as you can"
"All ready Skipper. Want me to go up?"
"I feel rotten lying here - everybody else - up there"
"Dark shadows under his tired eyes"

Now that you have evaluated the key characters in the play, it is time to have a go at a mini essay question.

 

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 was written?

 

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

 

For the highest marks you should try to embed your quotations within sentences and ensure that you choose the best quotations to support your points.

 

You should also try to give a personal response and make a perceptive evaluation of the character you are writing about. 

 

To practise the skill of evaluating, try to answer the following question, writing at least 4 paragraphs and an evaluative conclusion, summarising your personal response.

 

Task: To what extent would you describe Stanhope as a heroic character?

 

 

In the next mini essay, try to incorporate what you have learnt about evaluating characters and giving a personal and perceptive response into your writing.

 

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 was written?

 

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

 

For the highest marks you should try to embed your quotations within sentences and ensure that you choose the best quotations to support your points.

 

You should also try to give a personal response and make a perceptive evaluation of the character you are writing about. 

 

Task: In what ways is Osborne an important character in 'Journey's End'?

 

For this activity try to write at least 5 paragraphs.

  • Question 1

Think about how far you would say Sherriff presents Stanhope as a true hero.

 

Consider the events below and click on those that show his heroic qualities.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
He is flawed. He drinks heavily to cope with the extreme fear he feels
He is a strong leader that is able to question senior decision making
He shows strong leadership skills when he is able to talk Hibbert around and encourage him to stay
He shows sensitivity and compassion for Raleigh in his dying moments, forgetting about their earlier conflict
EDDIE SAYS
This is a really tricky one! Well done for giving it a go. We could say that Stanhope is a tragic hero - he has many admirable qualities but he's also flawed. Throughout the play we see the emotional battle that Stanhope has faced, but the ending sees him bury his fear and go up to his men showing such bravery and loyalty. The most uncomfortable moments are perhaps in the way he speaks to Hibbert, who's visibly struggling, yet the way he turns this conversation around to encourage Hibbert to stay could be viewed as admirable. You need to think about whether the mistakes Stanhope makes, make him any less a hero. Explore this question more in your revision in order to consider what your personal response is.
  • Question 2

Osborne appears to be presented as one of the most level headed, calm, loyal and brave men throughout the play. Do we ever see another side to Osborne?

 

Complete the passage below to help explore this question. You will not need to use quotation marks here.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
So, if we were to evaluate how far Osborne is willing and loyal, we might suggest that, for the most part, Osborne acts outwardly as a brave and dutiful soldier, willing to take his orders, whatever they may be. We certainly don't see Osborne openly criticise the decisions of the senior ranks; he accepts that he's being sent to lead the raid without question. However, his choice of reading and this statement really reveals how Osborne's thoughts are in conflict with his actions; Osborne subtly reveals that he can't understand the point of war. This would've been felt by many of the men fighting and indeed the audience, who were familiar with the huge loss of life the war resulted in.
  • Question 3

Trotter is presented as a humorous character. Which of the statements do you think is most true?

CORRECT ANSWER
Trotter is a brave and humorous character, but recognises himself that he feels fear just like the others
EDDIE SAYS
A tricky one! Trotter does appear humorous and brave in much of the play. He makes jokes, laughs with the others and fulfils his duty. However, Sherriff highlights how even men such as Trotter are affected by the horrors of war, even if they're keeping it hidden. Stanhope says to Trotter "Nothing upsets you, does it? You're always the same." Trotter's response "Little you know" is one of the most telling quotations, revealing that Trotter is probably struggling psychologically like most of the men, but is able to put on a brave face amongst his comrades.
  • Question 4

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 part of 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 5

How do we feel about Hibbert after the end of the play?

 

Match the quotation to the most relevant audience response.

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

The audience would feel some symp...
"I can't bear it any longer"
An audience would see some of Hib...
"The longer you stay here, the ha...
Despite some cowardly behaviour e...
"He goes slowly up the steps and ...
Sherriff presents Hibbert as a di...
"Doesn't his repulsive little min...
EDDIE SAYS
You might like to think about how far you find Hibbert a dislikeable character and whether he has any redeeming qualities. He's often presented as crude, cowardly and disliked by others. However, despite saying he would never go up into the trenches again, he does summon the strength and, despite his fear, he finally goes up with the other men. Can we therefore view Hibbert as a brave and loyal character like his comrades? What's your personal response to this character?
  • 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
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 would 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

Raleigh inevitably changes after the death of Osborne. He is visibly traumatised by what he has witnessed and can't understand how everyone carries on like nothing has happened. This is where we see Raleigh lose his previous innocence.

 

In his conversation with Stanhope after the raid, which stage direction shows how much he has been affected by what he has witnessed.

 

Look at the section of text from "I'm not hungry" to "But-how can you when-?"

 

Remember to use quotation marks.

CORRECT ANSWER
"His voice is nearly breaking"
EDDIE SAYS
This is the only stage direction for Raleigh in this part of the text and shows how shaken and upset he is. We also see how respectful Raleigh is in this scene. He can't bring himself to drink champagne with the others when Osborne has just been killed, and he can't understand how the others can behave in this way. After Stanhope explains that he drinks "to forget!", Raleigh apologises, stating that he "didn't understand". We really see Raleigh's naivity and innocence stolen from him here - he finally sees what war is really about and how it really affects the men around him.
  • Question 8

The ending of the play reveals a lot about each of the characters. Match the quotations to what they show about a character.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 Even in his dying moments Raleigh is dutifulHibbert is presented as cowardly and fearfulTrotter is presented as brave and loyalMason is presented as brave and loyalStanhope is weary from trying to be the brave leader that others can look up to
"I'll go right along sir"
"You're just wasting as much time as you can"
"All ready Skipper. Want me to go up?"
"I feel rotten lying here - everybody else - up there"
"Dark shadows under his tired eyes"
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Remember that it's always a good idea to go back to the text to check. The ending reveals so much about the characters, but Sherriff really uses the ending to highlight how brave most of the soldiers were, despite their personal struggles, acting loyally and dutifully even in the face of death. The last stage directions describing Stanhope are also interesting; we get the sense that he's seen this all before and is tired, yet we see him go up into the trench at the end, summoning everything he has in him to carry on.
  • Question 9

Now that you have evaluated the key characters in the play, it is time to have a go at a mini essay question.

 

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 was written?

 

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

 

For the highest marks you should try to embed your quotations within sentences and ensure that you choose the best quotations to support your points.

 

You should also try to give a personal response and make a perceptive evaluation of the character you are writing about. 

 

To practise the skill of evaluating, try to answer the following question, writing at least 4 paragraphs and an evaluative conclusion, summarising your personal response.

 

Task: To what extent would you describe Stanhope as a heroic character?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this: We might question Stanhope's status as a hero as we learn that he is a "hard drinker". Indeed, we learn about his behaviour at the very beginning of the play through the character of Hardy, who tells Osborne that he saw Stanhope lose "control of himself". This certainly does not present him as a strong and brave man. This idea is further compounded by Stanhope's own admittance of his personal struggles. He confides in Osborne explaining that he'd "go mad with fright" if he wasn't "doped with whiskey". Clearly, Stanhope is overcome with fear and uses drink as a coping mechanism, a characteristic that perhaps is in conflict with the idea of a hero. Yet, Osborne's opinion of him in particular, forces us to think more carefully about the assumptions we make, stating that he is "a long way the best company commander we've got". Sherriff clearly demonstrates through the character of Stanhope, how even the strongest leaders would have been psychologically affected during the war. Osborne makes it clear that Stanhope's "nerves have got battered to bits". ensuring the audience is sympathetic and understanding of the need for soldiers to have a coping mechanism in such a terrifying and traumatic environment.
  • Question 10

In the next mini essay, try to incorporate what you have learnt about evaluating characters and giving a personal and perceptive response into your writing.

 

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 was written?

 

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

 

For the highest marks you should try to embed your quotations within sentences and ensure that you choose the best quotations to support your points.

 

You should also try to give a personal response and make a perceptive evaluation of the character you are writing about. 

 

Task: In what ways is Osborne an important character in 'Journey's End'?

 

For this activity try to write at least 5 paragraphs.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this: Osborne is an important character in the play as he is used by Sherriff to show how important comradeship was during World War I. We often see Osborne acting as a father-like figure to many of the characters, perhaps most notably Stanhope. In Stanhope's more vulnerable moments, we see Osborne's compassion coming through as he encourages Stanhope to "Turn in and have a sleep". Indeed his choice of language is friendly and comforting as he says "Come along. Old Chap!". Despite being Osborne's second in command, we see Sherriff disrupt the social hierarchy here, showing how the men needed to support each other during the war in the spirit of brotherhood. This is stressed further in the way that Osborne remains respectful of Stanhope and critical of those who are "amused" by Stanhope's drunken antics. The way he describes this behaviour as similar to watching "cock-fighting" allows Sherriff to create an uncomfortable feeling around the way Stanhope is viewed. However, Osborne's perspective allows Sherriff to encourage the audience to show understanding and respect for the terrible way that war affected even the strongest men. Osborne's character highlights that men needed to stick together and support each other during the war in order to survive the horrors on the front line.
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