Explore How the Protagonists in “Journey’s End” and “the Accrington Pals” Are Affected by War

1463 WordsSep 11, 20126 Pages
The Great War lasted four years and changed the whole world and so I shall be looking at how R. C. Sherriff and Peter Whelan developed the protagonists in their plays to reflect the impact the war had, not just on the world, but also on the individuals involved in war. May Hassle and Dennis Stanhope were clearly affected greatly by war; May, by what the war took from her, Tom; and Stanhope, by what the war gave him. All throughout the war May’s change of character becomes more and more apparent, finally ending with her having a hallucination. This is used to really emphasise how much she has changed and how the horrors of war doesn’t just affect those fighting, but those at home also. The main factor that affects May is Tom’s…show more content…
The woman being older in a relationship, even today, is still frowned upon. This age gap would also conflict with the “spiritual” way in which she was taught. The hero of the play being female is rather unconventional but May’s character has been specifically chosen to keep the other conventions. Susan Bordo - University of Kansas - said that, in protagonist roles “men are usually virile, muscular and powerful”. May shows all of these characteristics apart from being male and so her masculinity compensates for this. Her strong character is shown by how she doesn’t take no for an answer, “You have to ferret and burrow and not take ‘no’.” which shows that she’s not afraid to stick up for herself – a characteristic which main characters generally show at least once in their story. Her leadership/dominance of the characters in the play is also a point which portrays her strength to the audience, “Take Miss Mason’s things and put them in the scullery, Tom.” The imperative here “Take” and the lack of a “please” emphasises her strength and shows her control over the other characters, or in this case, Tom, which further stresses this point and the fact that she’s forcing the one she loves into doing

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