Journey's End

How does Sherriff present Heroism in Journey's End? College

In R.C Sherriff’s Journey’s End, the theme of heroism is mainly presented through the characters of Raleigh and Stanhope in addition to their relationship with one another. Despite the fact that Stanhope is much a changed man now he has been exposed to over three years on the frontline, Raleigh still maintains his strong sense of worship towards him and admires Stanhope regardless of his signs of possible weakness and mental deterioration. Stanhope’s heroism is still presented as fake to a certain extent, as his real cowardice lies beneath his honourable disguise. It may be argued that the dominant theme of hero-worship is due to the fact that Sherriff wanted to stress the importance of hierarchy in the war, as this appears central to the theme of heroism in the play (especially as it’s evident that all those lower than Stanhope in the hierarchical system continue to view him as a great hero).

The presentation of hero-worship between Raleigh and Stanhope in the play suggests that it is permanent and limitless – therefore creating a rather magical, boundless view of heroism from when viewing Raleigh’s attitude towards Stanhope. Even before Raleigh meets him after years of separation, Osborne warns him that he shouldn’t ‘expect...

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