Stanhope is the protagonist of the play. After joining the war straight out of school at eighteen, he has served three years by the time the play begins, having risen to the position of Commanding Officer of C Company. Stanhope drinks heavily to deaden his nerves in order to cope with the brutal reality of war. Though his temper fluctuates wildly, he is liked and respected by his men. Stanhope is engaged to Raleigh's sister, who he hopes will continue to believe that he is a hero. Stanhope is characterized as large and handsome.
Osborne is Stanhope's second-in-command. He is middle-aged, levelheaded and attends to all duties well, belying his civilian occupation as a schoolmaster. The men refer to him as Uncle. He holds much respect for Stanhope’s abilities, experience and perseverance in command and rejects any notion that he should surpass Stanhope. He takes on a caretaker role when dealing with Stanhope's worsening condition.
Second Lieutenant Raleigh
Raleigh is a fresh-faced eighteen-year-old second lieutenant straight out of school. His uncle, General Raleigh, berates him for asking if he can serve in a specific battalion, scorning the idea of special treatment, but quietly makes the necessary paperwork for his assignment directly into Stanhope’s regiment. Raleigh shares a past with Captain Stanhope; they went to school together, and their fathers were friends. Raleigh looks up to Stanhope and knows him by his first name, Dennis. Raleigh's first name is revealed as Jimmy by Stanhope at the end of the play, when Raleigh is paralyzed by a mortar shell, then dies of his injuries.
Second Lieutenant Trotter
Trotter is a second lieutenant and third in line of command of C Company. He is middle-aged, short and fat. He enjoys his food and bulges out of his uniform. He tries to make the most of life in the trenches. Stanhope disparages Trotter as having no imagination.
Second Lieutenant Hibbert
Hibbert is a junior officer in C Company. He claims to be suffering harshly from neuralgia, but Stanhope believes he is just feigning in order to have a reason to leave the front lines and spend the rest of the war in hospital.
The Colonel is Stanhope’s superior. He shows more interest in pleasing his own superiors than protecting the lives of soldiers in active combat roles.
Mason is an enlisted soldier taken from one of the platoons among C Company. He is currently assigned as the cook and servant aide to the officers. He often apologizes for the compromised quality of the food rations he has to work with.
Hardy is a captain from another regiment. He thinks it may be best if Stanhope is replaced as commanding officer because of his young age, his drinking, and his temperament, and also because he believes Stanhope is beginning to crack from his long service on the front.
The sergeant-major is a huge, burly man. He reports to Stanhope and is in charge of the enlisted men of C Company and sometimes relieves the officers on duty watch details.
A German solider is captured by Raleigh during the raid that results in Osborne being killed. The German cries and pleads for mercy when the Colonel questions and searches him.
Journey’s End Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Journey’s End is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
I would consider both of these characters to be innocent. As a cook, Mason is detached.... he's busy with his work, and he never really builds a relationship with any of the other characters. On the whole, he might be considered a character who...