Impact of War Upon Men's Relationships in Journey's End and Strange Meeting

1691 Words Nov 12th, 2010 7 Pages
Compare and contrast the ways in which Hill and Sherriff present the impact of war upon men’s relationships in Strange Meeting and Journey’s End and say how far you agree with the view that the relationships in Strange Meeting are more crucial for survival than those in Journey’s End.

Strange Meeting and Journey’s End share many similarities; both the novel and the play are set during the First World War following the lives, and deaths, of the men in the officer ranks, and showing the immense strain and struggle which they felt. However, the two texts also differ in many respects. In Strange Meeting, Hill shows the positive impact of war upon the men’s relationships through the friendship of the two central characters, John Hilliard and
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Throughout the play, Stanhope treats Raleigh with contempt, ‘Don’t “Dennis” me! Stanhope’s my name! You’re not at school!” This makes very clear Stanhope’s desperate want to leave the world he has come from, where he was a prosperous happy young man with a bright future, behind. It also helps the audience to understand why Stanhope treats Raleigh as he does; because Raleigh represents the world that he will never belong to again. We see yet another impact of the war upon the relationship when Stanhope confides to Osborne ‘this place must have reeked of candle-grease, and rats – and whisky. One thing a boy like that can’t stand is a smell that isn’t fresh. He looked at me is if I’d hit him between the eyes – as if I’d spat on him’ Osborne responds by asking ‘Why can’t you treat him like any other youngster?’ Although he gives him no answer, we can see that Stanhope would rather treat Raleigh unfairly and have him hate him, than allow him to realise how he has changed for fear of him writing home to tell his sister, and because of his dreadful shame about the man he has become. It seems that Stanhope has prevented himself from becoming close to anybody else as a means of protection, because he cannot bear to lose yet another friend, telling Osborne (who Sherriff uses to reveal how Stanhope really feels) - ‘There’s not a man left who was here when I

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