Impact of War Upon Men's Relationships in Journey's End and Strange Meeting

1684 Words Nov 9th, 2010 7 Pages
Compare and contrast the ways in which Hill and Sherriff present the impact of war upon men’s relationships in Strange Meeting and Journey’s End and say how far you agree with the view that the relationships in Strange Meeting are more crucial for survival than those in Journey’s End.

Strange Meeting and Journey’s End share many similarities; both the novel and the play are set during the First World War following the lives, and deaths, of the men in the officer ranks, and showing the immense strain and struggle which they felt. However, the two texts also differ in many respects. In Strange Meeting, Hill shows the positive impact of war upon the men’s relationships through the friendship of the two central characters, John Hilliard and
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Hilliard looked away’ - are at first unsuccessful, however as the novel progresses, we see these walls beginning to crumble, showing Hilliard’s need for affection and support in his environment, and the positive impact that war has upon his ability to form relationships; ‘he sat up and said aloud, ‘Jesus God, don’t let him be killed, don’t let him be killed.”’ The use of repetition makes Hilliard sound like he is praying to God, pleading with him to save his dearest friend from being killed. This, added to the fact that the normally withdrawn and unaffectionate Hilliard is openly declaring his feelings for Barton in his presence, highlights the intensity of his need for him to survive.

The impact of war upon men’s relationships is presented rather differently by Sherriff in Journey’s End, the relationships seem to suffer under the pressures of war rather than flourish as Hilliard and Barton’s do in Strange Meeting. When Raleigh arrives, he calls it ‘an amazing bit of luck’ to be serving Stanhope, who he has hero-worshipped throughout his adolescence. He believes that nothing will have changed between the ‘terrific pals’, telling Osborne of the summers that the men spent together and of the attachment between Stanhope and Raleigh’s sister. However, the excitement and happiness that Raleigh feels is not reciprocated by Stanhope who has already been fighting at war for
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