The definition of ‘fear’ is a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. ‘Fear’ is reflected by the continual tension throughout the play. All the characters deal with fear in their own different ways. This reflects their personality and gives us an outline of how they really deal with the troubles, which arise during their experiences in a dangerous surrounding, and also, by dealing with the outcomes that they have to face in life. Stanhope deals with pain and fear through expressing his anger and also by his drinking habits. Hibbert deals with fear by trying to run away from it.
Osborne talks about unnecessary topics, such as rugby, to hide his fears. Throughout the play, we see displacement tactics becoming one of the main themes, because all the characters use diversion tactics as their way of viewing things in an attempt, not to make the problem seem so harsh. Raleigh is the odd one out, because he is the youngest and is a new soldier, as he only joined the battalion at the beginning of the play. He therefore does not yet know about the dangers in war and living in the trenches. We therefore see no sense of fear in him, as he is totally unaware of the situation he is getting himself into.
I am now going to explain the ways in which the characters in Journey’s End interact and speak to each other, also through actions, while dealing with fear. Stanhope is one of the main characters that we see having to deal with fear the most. He is the one who is struggling, as we see him permanently stressed and worn out. As the company commander, he has to deal with many problems that are forced upon him, until he becomes troubled himself. These problems have affected him and have developed into his fears. He therefore finds it hard to cope with his fears, as he is also very sensitive.
An example of Stanhope being in a situation like this, where he becomes very stressed out, is with the situation with Hibbert wanting to leave, “No man of mine’s going sick before the attack. They’re going to take an equal chance- together. ” Due to Stanhope having to deal with this problem, he is put under a lot of stress, trying to persuade Hibbert to stay. Even the thought that one of his men want to leave, without achieving anything, disappoints him, therefore making him more fretful and therefore more vulnerable to drinking alcohol. Stanhope deals with his fears by expressing indiscriminative anger towards the rest of the soldiers.
He goes out of control. Such as in Act 2 Scene 2, Stanhope releases his own aggression at Hibbert because of what he fears. All of this started when Hibbert tried to run away from the trenches. Hibbert complained that he was terribly ill, “This neuralgia of mine. I’m awfully sorry. I’m afraid I cant stick it any longer,” and forces himself to the doctors in order to run away from fighting at war. This makes Stanhope extremely angry; knowing that one of his soldiers is giving up instead of achieving anything. Stanhope has had to go through many hard times while at war, and knowing that Hibbert has had it easy, makes him furious.
Therefore, he holds a gun to Hibbert and threatens to shoot if he leaves, “If you went, I’d have you shot- for deserting. It’s a hell of a disgrace- to die like that. I’d rather spare you the disgrace. ” Here, he uses fierce and intense words, ‘hell’, ‘shot’, ‘die’ and ‘disgrace’, which reflects his anger and also scares Hibbert. He uses alliteration, (‘d’s) to emphasize the seriousness and force in his tone of voice. He is immediately aggressive rather than understanding and thoughtful. He also deals with his fears by drinking alcohol a lot.
There is one sentence from Stanhope, which sums up the reason for his drinking problems, without being doped with whisky- I’d go mad with fright,” Stanhope drinks because he lacks confidence in himself and does not want to fight his fears himself; the drink does it for him. The phrase ‘mad with fright’ is very forceful and sounds out of control. The drink numb his pain because, when he is drunk, all his problems and everything around him, becomes nothing but a blur. In Act 2 Scene 1, Stanhope is drunk and releases his anger on poor Raleigh. He demands Raleigh to hand over the letter that he has written to his sister, Stanhope’s fianci?? e, so that he can censor it. This is unusual, as Stanhope has never censored letters before.
This shows that he is very anxious and tries to deny the fact that he is a drunkard, especially to his fianci?? e. Stanhope even starts to create his own rules, ” It’s the rule that letters must be read,” which makes him seem more desperate. This makes Raleigh really upset and astonished, to know that Stanhope does not trust him, “Don’t ‘Dennis’ me! Stanhope’s my name! You’re not at school! Go and inspect your riffles!… D’you understand an order? ” From the way that Stanhope uses the exclamation marks, it shows that he is tremendously angry, and the question, shows that he is being very demanding.
He is being very strict and is treating Raleigh as an adult. Stanhope is really afraid that Raleigh will tell his sister everything about what Stanhope has become since joining the battalion- a drunkard. Hibbert does not hide his fears, but instead, he tries to run away from them. He fakes his way home, by faking an illness called neuralgia. This shows that he is very weak and more afraid than the rest of the soldiers. In Act 2 Scene 2, he even goes to the extent where he would rather be shot than to go back onto the battlefields, “Stanhope! I’ve tried like hell- I swear I have…
I’ve hated and loathed it. Every sound up there makes me all- cold and sick… I can’t bear it any longer. I’ll never go up those steps again. ” Here, Hibbert is spilling out the truth. He is talking as if he is going to die if he even steps onto the battlefield. He uses very intense words that have a very strong and forceful meaning to them- ‘hell’, ‘swear’, ‘hated’, ‘loathed’, ‘cold’, ‘sick’ and ‘bear’. Even though here, he is really standing firm in what he believes, he is also being quite dramatic. This is because we do not see any of the other soldiers strongly complaining as much as he has.
As seen here, we could tell that his greatest fear is that of war and the horrible thoughts which he has had of sudden but painful death, outside on the battlefields. Here, his tone of voice is very strong and deep as he is expressing his true feelings from his heart, and also his great deal of suffering. Trotter is the character that has a large appetite, and he therefore mainly discusses the idea of food as a disengagement tactic. This displaces the problems in which he has to deal with as a member of the battalion. We always see Trotter always questioning the food, describing the food in detail, or wondering where the food is.
Therefore we think of him as the laughable character among them, “I mean- after all- war’s bad enough with pepper- but war without pepper- it’s- it’s bloody awful! ” This is one of his many jokes. He combines war with food in the same sentence in order to make them seem not so harsh, but instead to make it sound light and funny. The term, ‘bloody’, shows that he has a cockney accent and is of lower class. The dashes in between each phrase shows that there are gaps in his speaking ability and therefore shows it is not of high standard. This also shows that he thinks while he speaks and not before, which demonstrates his immaturity.
He uses displacement tactics throughout the play and talks as if war means nothing to him. He is being dismissive towards the idea of war. Trotter’s other tactic of displacing the problem is when he draws circles on a piece of paper. As time goes by, he blacks in a circle every hour. This consumes time and is his survival tactic, also for entertaining himself. Therefore it is very immature and childish. Throughout the play, most of the characters, including Trotter, talk about time as a disengagement tactic, “That’s a hundred and forty- four hours; eight thousand six’ undred and forty minutes.
Here, Trotter consumes time by making long calculations of the time they have left until the big attack, which is their ultimate fear. Here, the numbers are written in long phrases as letters, not numbers, which make the length of time left until the big attack, seem even longer! It also consumes time, as it takes longer for Trotter to speak it out. As his way of hiding his fears, he treats and talks about war as if it were a game to enjoy, “Must have your revolver to shoot rats. ” This takes his mind off the horrors of war and how fatal it is.
Mason is also another character, very similar to Trotter’s, as they are from similar backgrounds and on the same level of class. We know this because they both have similar accents. Mason is afraid of Stanhope, because of Stanhope’s indiscriminative aggression towards Mason. Mason also uses diversion tactics, also to do with food, as he is the cook and it is his job to tell the rest about the food. Sometimes he would talk about the food so much that he would not stop talking at all. This would often be because he has made a mistake and is therefore mumbling on, using these tactics to make the situation seem not so harsh.
This is due to his fear of Stanhope and the punishment in which he may receive. Such as in Act 1 Scene 1, where Mason has received apricots instead of pineapples, and he is afraid of what Stanhope’s reaction might be, “I know the captain can’t stand the sight of apricots. ‘E said next time we ‘ad them ‘e’d wring my neck. ” This is quite a harsh view of what Stanhope is really like, and how aggressive he can be. The word ‘wring’ is a very callous and forceful word, which would definitely frighten a person. From Mason’s view, we can see that Stanhope can become angry very easily.
Mason’s goal is to please Stanhope, in order to overcome his fear of him. Osborne is a more gentle and calm character in Journey’s End. He is like a father- figure to the rest of the characters and therefore, his fears are not expressed in an obvious way. He deals with his fears more maturely. Most of the time we see him helping others rather than expressing his own feelings. Osborne disengages his problems, as seen in Act 3 Scene 1, just before the big attack, when Osborne and Raleigh describe their own homes with excitement and intensity, strongly wishing to go back as soon as possible.
Raleigh says, “Just behind our house there’s a stream called Highland; it runs for miles- right through the middle of the forest. Denis and I followed it once as far as we could. ” And Osborne goes on to explaining more of the forest, “They say there are ruins, somewhere in the forest, of villages that William the Conqueror pulled down to let the forest grow. ” Both Osborne and Raleigh almost personalise their home giving it life and soul. It seems that they are saying: we are going back to paradise; we will win the battle- we will survive.
They are so frightened and so overcome with fear, that they are holding onto any glimpse of hope. Compared to the situation they are in now, home is like paradise to them. To conclude, I would say that the characters deal with fear in different ways. But throughout the play, we see them mainly using displacement tactics as their way of hiding from the truth. They try as hard as possible to be in full denial of their surroundings. Such as Hibbert, who went to the full extent of dealing with fear and found that he could not cope it anymore and therefore tried to run away.
This shows signs of anxiousness in Hibbert. Stanhope is the main character and the company commander, and therefore, I find that his fears are more forceful and influential than the others. He therefore becomes distressed and finds it hard to deal with his fears. In Journey’s End the main fear in which all the characters agonize, is the idea of war. This whole story is based around the horrors and actions which take place during war, and we therefore get involved in the scenery of war and become very familiar of what the characters must feel.