Despite being written being written from opposite sides and perspectives of officers versus soldiers, both Journey’s End, by RC Sherriff, and All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Remarque, look specifically at how war dehumanizes, destroys, and breaks the men who fought at…
Officers at the front lines of war often were cold and calculating. Captain Stanhope was stressed out from the duties of commanding during wartime. Because of the stress he was under, Captain Stanhope became a drunkard. He was a really nasty drunkard. Thus, when his girlfriend’s brother, his peer three years younger, Second Lieutenant James Raleigh, arrives into his command, Captain Stanhope did not treat him with any respect. Rather, he treated Second Lieutenant coldly to the point of down right hatred for the young man.2
Captain Stanhope had become such a different man than the one his beloved knew, and the good Captain did not want any of this information getting back to her through Raleigh. Captain Dennis Stanhope did not particularly care for the fact that James Raleigh idolized him and brushed it off as ‘hero worshipping’.
A raid is then ordered by the colonel, Captain Stanhope was told to send his his lieutenants, Raleigh and Osborne. Stanhope knew that not many would survive the raid, if any. Raleigh, however, did manage to survive the raid, but Osborne did not. Raleigh and Stanhope both took the loss of Lieutenant Osborne rather hard. Raleigh dealt with it by choosing to eat with the enlisted men, whom Stanhope thought was beneath him. But, Raleigh, in mourning, did not like how his peer was dealing with the loss of Osborne. Later, Stanhope explained to Raleigh that he drank to deal with the loss of his friend.
Eventually, Stanhope and Raleigh are able to break loose, for a few moments, from the events that seem to be destroying their souls. Raleigh, after being wounded by a German shell, to the point where he cannot walk, was brought to the Captain’s dugout where Stanhope can take care of him. This shows a little humanization of Stanhope’s soul that had been missing from his character. But a short while later, Raleigh dies from his injuries. Stanhope, ...
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