How Does Sheriff Create Tension in Act 2 in Journeys End? Essay

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How does Sheriff build tension in Act 2? Jodie Horton Sheriff creates a lot of tension in Act 2 in many different ways. He uses structure as a way to create tension including, stage directions, setting/staging and characters actions. Tension is initially built in scene 1 by the use of Sheriffs structure, the men are waiting in the trenches for six days with nothing to do, to the audience the real boredom of the trenches and the men would be exposed. The men talk about everyday things such as the bacon they are eating for breakfast “look down straight on it from above, sir, you can see the bit o’ lean quite clear.”pg37 The start of the scene is boring but light hearted, it shows how the men have a sense of family…show more content…
So the tension isn’t ever really escaped but hangs around for a longer period of time that what it usually would. In scene 2 Sheriff creates tension on stage between Stanhope and S-M. “Stanhope: then we advance and win the war S-M: [pretending to make a note] Win the War. Very good, sir.” Pg 51 Sheriff has cleverly added the little stage direction to create tension. It is known that the attack id extremely risky and very likely to be fatal, it is unlikely for many men to survive. So when Stanhope is talking to S-M, S-M is almost sarcastic in his response to signify the hopelessness of this attack, pretending to make a note of winning the war to show the disbelief S-M has in Stanhope. Then the tension is built up even more by Stanhope “But you understand exactly what I mean, sergeant major” pg 51. Death is never really addressed or spoken about during the play, it is always a subject that is ignored and covered over by the men to help them cope in the difficult situations. Stanhope openly bringing it up in this line brings in a lot of tension. Although the line is not direct and doesn’t speak about death very openly, it is one of the first points in the play that death between two characters is discussed. Bringing in tension and sad emotion from the audience at how hopeless the men are going to

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