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‘Journey’s End’ Essay

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 830
  • Category: Journeys

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In this assignment I am going to refer to two specific scenes in which I think dramatic tension is created and relieved extremely well using words, gesture, expressions and movement. The two scenes I am going to look at do portray the real life of war, showing how war can destroy you physically and emotionally. The author does this very well using expressions and movement. The two scenes I am going to focus on are act 2 scene 1 and act 2 scene 2. In act 2 scene 1 there is an incident between Raleigh and Stanhope. Raleigh has joined Stanhope’s regiment and he has known Stanhope since he was at school.

Raleigh writes a letter, which is to be sent to his family. Stanhope is engaged to Raleigh’s sister and is worried that Raleigh will write awful things about him and so claims he has to censor all letters. Raleigh doesn’t want him to and he disagrees. This is when tension is being created between the two characters conversation starts off quietly and calm. Raleigh says “where do we put the letters to be collected,” Stanhope replies “oh just on the table” so at this point you don’t realise tension is being created between the two and there is no eye contact so the atmosphere seems calm and casual.

But then it starts to build; Raleigh says “thanks” and begins to lick the flap of the envelope. Stanhope then says in a quiet voice “you leave it open” Raleigh is surprised at this point and starts to stammer, “oh-but-I-I-didn’t realise that, I haven’t said anything about where we are-I’ll just leave it then” then Stanhope gets really angry and shouts “give me that letter! ” You can tell yourself that Stanhope is really angry because you can imagine this situation yourself and Sheriff describes what is happening and tells the movements that are taking place e. g. hen it says “(in a quiet voice)” so you know how it will sound or be spoken, then it says “Stanhope rises slowly and turns to face Raleigh. ”

“Give me that letter! ” using the exclamation mark tells us that that short sentence is to be shouted. Also the stage direction says Stanhope puts his hand out for the letter showing that he expects the letter in his hand no question about it. Raleigh again tries to reassure Stanhope that there is nothing bad written about him but Stanhope is really angry and Raleigh says “but I tell you there’s nothing-Dennis-I’m” Stanhope replies, “Don’t Dennis me!

Stanhopes my name! ” Raleigh is ever so shocked that Stanhope has turned on him in such a cruel way. Raleigh is sent out and leaves Stanhope. Stanhope is then ashamed of what he has done and can’t bring himself to read the letter. This is when the tension is being relieved; Osborne reads the letter and when Stanhope hears all the good things said about him he is ashamed of himself. The author shows that he is ashamed of himself and regrets what he has done. This is shown by him sitting with lowered head.

This is what someone does when they are feeling sorry for themselves so having this stage direction helps the audience understand what has happened and how Stanhope is feeling. Another gesture he makes to show he regrets what he has done is in what he says and how he says it. Osborne asks him a question and Stanhope murmurs to Osborne something, which sounds like yes please. By murmuring it he shows he is depressed or saddened by something he has done or how he has acted. In act 2 scenes 2 the incident again involves Stanhope but he is with Hibbert.

Again in this incident you can see where tension is being created e. . where the conversation involves exclamation marks and the conversation gets fiercer. The tension is created when Hibbert says “this neuralgia of mine, I’m awfully sorry but I’m afraid I can’t stick it any longer, I must go down”. Stanhope won’t allow this; Stanhope again gets very angry at this point and starts to threaten Hibbert. Hibbert tries to get past Stanhope but Stanhope ‘throws him roughly back’ then Hibbert hits Stanhope with his stick. The highest point of tension is when Stanhope holds a gun to hibbert’s head and threatens to shoot him.

Hibbert is scared, you can see this where his voice changes and Hibbert starts to stammer, people stammer when they are scared or nervous. Although Hibbert is frightened to death he dares Stanhope to shoot him. When Hibbert tells Stanhope to shoot him again Stanhope realises he is wrong and pulls the gun away and says ” good man Hibbert I liked the way you stuck that. ” Hibbert is extremely relieved that Stanhope hasn’t shot him and bursts into tears because he can’t believe what has happened to Stanhope or anyone during their time in the trenches. At this point the tension is then being relieved.

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