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Importance of Osborne in Journeys End by R.C Sheriff Essay

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Importance of Osborne in Journeys End by R.C Sheriff

From the very beginning of the play, Sheriff suggests to the audience that Osborne is the father figure and therefore that he is the voice of reason to the other men. We find out that Osborne is a middle-aged man with 'iron-grey hair'. Osborne however is physically in very good shape and is a 'tall, thin man' who is 'physically as hard as nails.' As Raleigh enters the audience sees a kind, caring side to Osborne. Sheriff puts across the ideas of Osborne being a family man through his calming conversation with Raleigh, where he tells Raleigh from what way he should look at the war.

"There's something rather romantic about it all."

Sheriff
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Hardy has the view that Stanhope shouldn't be in charge of the men and that Stanhope is a 'drunkard'. However, as Osborne knows Stanhope and doesn't take people at first impressions or on surface value suggests that Stanhope is not a 'drunkard' instead he is just a 'hard drinker', Hardy also proposes that Stanhope is too young to be commanding the men, however, Osborne does not just look at the age of Stanhope but of the amount of time that he has been in the war and the intelligence that Stanhope holds and therefore disagrees with Hardy. During the conversation with Hardy we realise that Osborne thinks through his experiences that he has had both within the war and outside. Hardy later suggests that Osborne is experienced not just in age but also in his 'level-headedness'. In the first scene we find out that Osborne is the person who has to put Stanhope to sleep when he gets drunk, this once again shows his maturity.

When Mason arrives at dinner with apricots instead of pineapple chunks, Osborne sees the funny side and tries to entertain the other men with Mason's position. During the play Osborne breaks the ice at crucial moments to ensure that there are no major arguments. This is often during a silence in which a heated conversation is occurring.

"I say, Stanhope, it's a terrible business. We thought we'd got a tin of pineapple chunks; it turns out to be Apricots."
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