Review on Raleigh’s character in Journeys End

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Raleigh’s character seems to be very timid from the start he has just left school and in a way has almost continued on with his school days; Denis’s’ presence at the dugout gives Raleigh a sense of protection like when he was a school. He assumes that it will be fun because he thinks Denis will take an immediate liking to Raleigh like when they where back at school. ” yes, rather! We where at school together… ” At first Raleigh was having a good time with Osborne, they where having an in depth conversation.

He is still quite jittery because it is a new environment and a new situation that he has never been in before. The conversation takes his mind off what is going on and brings him back to his school days. ” I did for Rugger. Not cricket. When Raleigh first arrived, it was quite quiet, he mentions how quiet it was. ” It’s just this, this quiet that seems so funny. ” Then towards the end, despite the constant sound of shells, he notices the sounds of war. What’s that rumbling noise? ” At the start of his venture he thought it was quiet and still, but nearing the end of his life he notices it to be thunderous and shrill.

Throughout the play Raleigh’s character changes from an unsure unconfident boy eventually turns into an independent self-thinking man, however at the end he is resulting back to his childhood stage. ” You don’t drink whisky? ” ” Oh, yes – er – just a small one, sir. He soon becomes more relaxed in the dug out and thinks by his own. “It’s all right thanks: I’m quite comfortable in there” then there is a quarrel between him and Denis, refusing clear orders. ” But it’s private – I didn’t know. ” He begins to fit in with the others just before the raid by acting rebellious. Good. I’ll have a cigarette. ”

Eventually he breaks down in rage in front of Denis ” Good god! Don’t you understand? ” Now that Raleigh is close to death, he can no longer keep up the tough guy act. He fears death and wants Denis by his side. “Can you stay for a bit”? Journeys end is a fascinating novel, superbly set out as a realistic play. This first hand escapade to survive was experienced by R. C Sheriff. As a first hand experience he was able to capture the sight, smell, noise, taste and feel of the front line and the dug out.

R. C Sheriff wanted to emphasise the true nature of the war and wanted to show people what the righteous men of the war had to endure throughout their stay. I think he displayed this very well by using a dugout filled with soldiers with personalities that conflict with each other thus heightening the awful experience for them all. The personal experience of what R. C Sheriff went through is a significant factor in this novel and it helps us to understand what pain still comes through and exists today.

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