Loyalty and friendship journeys end

How does the play help your understanding of friendship and loyalty?

Throughout the play Journeys end Sherriff helps our understanding of friendship and loyalty. He conveys this understanding through the characters, complications in the plot and stage directions.

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One way in which he helps our understanding is through existing friendships being forced apart by war. This is evident between Raleigh and Stanhope and there is a clear resentment from Stanhope towards Raleigh of him being there. We learn of this right from when they see each other in the dugout when Stanhope greets him by saying:

‘How did you – get here?’

The greeting towards Stanhope is not one of embrace, but more of shock. This is because, as we later in the play find out, of bitterness caused by Stanhope not wanting Raleigh to find out about his alcohol addiction. Here sheriff is showing that people change in war times and in Stanhope’s case not for the better. These changes force friendships apart, for fear of humiliation.

Another way in which sheriff helps our understanding is through deaths of characters which remind others of there friendship. This is evident when Osborne dies and Stanhope is upset, we can tell this by the emotion described in the stage directions

‘When Stanhope speaks his voice is still expressionless and dead’

This stage direction comes just after he is told about the death of Osborne. Before his death there had been a friendship however any sign of emotion were rarely expressed. The realisation that Osborne is dead, despite the likelihood of him dyeing at some point in the war, makes Stanhope reveal his true feelings. His ‘expressionless voice’ conveys a mournful tone to the audience, which help us to sympathise with the loss of his friend and helps us understand the true friendship between the two comrades.

In addition sheriff helps our understanding of friendship and loyalty through suffering and injury. At the end of the play Raleigh is injured and Stanhope is comforting him. Firstly Stanhope allows Raleigh to lay on his bed and later he brings a candle and another blanket. The audience previously have never seen this friendship towards Raleigh from Stanhope. Here there is a serious danger of Raleigh dying and in these circumstances all that matters to Stanhope is Raleigh’s welfare. Stanhope has put his resentment of Raleigh behind him when Raleigh is in need.

Sherriff helps our understanding of loyalty through men trying to desert the war. Midway through the play Hibbert goes to Stanhope to trying and get leavesee the doctor because he has ‘neuralgia’ however is real alibi is because he is scared and does not want to fight. Stanhope knows this and soon after he is approached by Hibbert he says

‘Better die of pain then get shot for deserting’

Stanhope is wise to what Hibberts real motives for seeing the doctor are, because he has been through the same thing. He has not been a cowards, nevertheless he has resorted to alcohol to cope. The audience learn hear that true loyalty is sticking to the cause whatever cost. In Stanhope’s case it is the loss of friends and the humiliation of being a drunkard.

The different aspects Sherriff portrays in Journeys end coupled with the overwhelming sense of unity amongst the men combine to allow the audience to understand both friendship and loyalty in the play.

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Loyalty and friendship journeys end. (2016, Oct 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/loyalty-and-friendship-journeys-end/