Journeys End-R C Sheriff

Compare the ways Sheriff uses setting in Journey’s End with the ways Barker use the enclosed environment of Craiglockhart hospital in Regeneration

Both works use settings to enhance the emotional turmoil suffered by the characters. The personalities   can be compared; for example, Stanhope and Sassoon are men who hate the war and are horrified by its brutality and pointlessness.   The trenches play an integral part in each story; in Journey’s End the trenches fray the men’s minds; they live in a constant state of fear of death which leads them to behave in an irrational way in life. In Regeneration the trenches are linked to the emotional trauma that the men suffered; Stanhope turns to drink to cope with life on the frontline; in Regeneration Willard copes with his mental illness by believing that he only has a physical illness and is not a mental patient.

Claustrophobia is a theme in both works, the trenches of Journey’s End are a physical constraint and the hospital is a mental environment. All characters have some wish to leave these places behind but in Stanhope’s case he fears leaving the trenches, feeling that he is a changed man and wonders how people would react to him in his current state, especially his love, Raleigh’s sister. Hibbert is desperate to leave the trenches for every time he leaves the dugout he feels he is going to be killed; this drives him to malinger in order to evade going on the frontline again. Prior, however, is eager to leave the hospital to return to the frontline to be with his men but Barker questions whether the whole process of Regeneration will repeat itself.

The dramatic presentation of Journey’s End is Spartan. The dugout in the play is dimly lit which gives a realistic impression of what life would have been like in these trenches. The layout suggests that luxuries are non- existent and that day to day life is an extremely harsh affair and personal space and privacy is limited. However, it does represent...