Compare And Contrast The Ways In Which Sheriff And

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The word hero is defined as ‘a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength’. Many men and women both young and old throughout World War One could have been and were considered heroes. R.C Sheriff and Pat Barker, both literary genius’ of their time, used their written word to portray this, they followed the cult of the time and wrote plays and prose to glorify soldiers and proclaim them heroes but with underlying storylines of how the war changed them, and exposed their audiences to the truth of war and it’s ‘hero’. Stanhope, being the key protagonist in ‘Journey’s End’ is a corrupted or flawed hero who we assume wants nothing more than to be a conventional war hero. A young captain, he came out straight from his public school to experience three unbroken years of active service, one of which as a Commander. Raleigh was three years below Stanhope at school; he looks up to Stanhope as a hero — and Stanhope, has what we are told is ‘an understanding’ with Raleigh’s ‘pretty sister’. We also discover rather early on in the play that Stanhope has a number of things holding him back from fulfilling his goal to becoming a hero- his negative relationship with alcohol, his recklessness and his nerves. This is highlighted in something Hardy says about Stanhope ‘some silly little argument- and all of a sudden he jumped up and knocked all the glasses off the table! Lost control of himself and then he- sort of- came to- and cried.’ The hyphens show how Hardy is trailing off almost as if he himself does not believe what he is saying about their ‘courageous’ First In Command. Both of these protagonists could be considered heroes as they are looked up to by others. In ‘Journey’s End’, Stanhope is seen as a practically perfect person by Raleigh, who is unable to see how he has changed from the rugby playing school prefect he once knew, ‘…He’d just got his
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