Journey's End

Human Decency in a World of Human Waste 12th Grade

Arguably, the presentation of waste is demonstrated in Journey’s End as the futility of war and the loss of innocent soldiers. There are subtle signs of foreshadowing throughout the exposition of the play, like referring to the “ foul smell of bacon”, which contextually was something that soldiers recalled smelled like decomposing bodies in the trenches, portraying the soldiers being slaughtered like animals for meat. The characters themselves contrast this, as Sherriff portrays each of their coping mechanisms and their dependence on each other to keep their sanity as they prepare for the impending attack from the opposition. Sherriff described his characters as “simple, unquestioning men who fought the war as it seemed the right and proper thing to do”, portraying the effects of propaganda on young men at the time that lead them blindly into war without proper preparation for what they would have to face, and being unable to leave once they had arrived, else they’d be shot for desertion. The ways in which each character handles their emotional stress whilst at war portrays their humanity in an inhumane situation.

One instance where humanity in war is showcased is in Act 2, when Osborne describes to Raleigh how the German...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1369 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10115 literature essays, 2561 sample college application essays, 491 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in