Success TipsSuccessful candidates had clearly been encouraged to seetheir text as a play script, to visualise the action, to keep allthe onstage characters in mind and to consider the impacton a theatre audience, and the benefits of watching orbeing involved in a live performance and of classroombased drama activities like role-play, hot-seating and thepresentation of key scenes, were strikingly evident in manyanswers. Strong responses to the drama of particularmoments often declared themselves in a keen awarenessof the contribution of all the onstage characters and eventhe significance of a particular character’s silence:Osborne’s presence throughout Stanhope’s embarrassinglyaggressive seizing of Raleigh’s letter (Journey’sEnd, Question 10)
Successful candidates:• see the texts as scripts for performance and themselves as members of an audience• see the stage directions as part of the dramatic action of the scene and visualise this onstage action and all the onstage characters• pay explicit attention to the wording of the question and balance attention to each strand of the question• construct purposeful opening paragraphs which focus specifically on a particular question about a particular play• select and integrate brief quotations to support and amplify their ideas• avoid formulaic approaches and trust their own direct personal response.
Less successful candidates:• see the texts as pieces of writing only and themselves as readers• see the stage directions merely as a pieces of tacked-on written communication and ignore the onstage action• start with a pre-packaged introduction which is unhelpfully generalised, biographical or listlike and says nothing specific about the play or the question• lose the focus of the question and import prepared material which has very little direct relevance, or misread the question entirely and write about the wrong character or wrong moment• become bogged down in feature-logging and detached from the dramatic action• work through a pre-digested agenda without fully engaging the question or the play, and without expressing a personal response.
Extract-based QuestionsSuccessful candidates:• devote at least two-thirds of answers to discussing, quoting from and commenting on the extract itself but still convey understanding of the whole-play context• start by returning to their text to locate the extract in the context of the whole play• establish the dramatic context for the characters and the audience quickly and economically in the opening paragraph• ground their whole-play reflections firmly in the detail of the extract pay close attention to the way the dramatic action evolves throughout the extract.Less successful candidates:• produce generalised answers with little attention to the printed passage, or approach the extract as if it is an “unseen” exercise and give little sense of the rest of the play• produce a sweeping opening paragraph with an all-purpose list of headings and largely ignore the question• rarely quote from the extract or copy out huge chunks unaccompanied by any attempt at commentary• miss the reference to “this moment” in the question and as a result answer the question on the play as a whole with little reference to the printed extract.
Journey’s EndQUESTION Read Act 2 Scene 2 (page 54) from Hibbert’sline “I’ve a perfect right to go sick if I wantto” to Stanhope’s line (page 56) “stayhere, old chap – and see it through...”.Explore the ways in which Sherriff makes thissuch a dramatic and significant moment inthe play. 
Explore the ways in which Sherriff makes this such a dramatic and significant moment in the play. NOTES ON THE TASK: It is to be hoped that most candidates will be able to respond to the dramatic nature of the action (the striking, the stick- snapping, the threatened use of the revolver…) and the intensity of the feelings in this scene. There are many dramatic features to choose from and so it is important to be receptive to a variety of ideas and not to expect exhaustive treatment. Strong answers are likely to declare themselves in their awareness of the dramatic context for this confrontation (the news that Stanhope must break to Osborne and Raleigh about the raid, his growing impatience with Hibbert’s perceived cowardice…), in their attention to Sherriff’s portrayal of Hibbert’s desperation (his willingness to be shot on the spot rather than face the terror of the trenches, for instance) and of Stanhope’s steely determination, apparent ruthlessness and final compassion. The strongest answers might well declare themselves in their detailed attention to the effect of the dramatic language, the threats, the counting…and in their willingness to explore the “significant” strand of the question explicitly. Developed understanding of what Sherriff reveals here not only about Hibbert and the stresses of trench warfare but also about Stanhope’s astonishing bravery, sense of duty, fellow-feeling and leadership…should be highly rewarded.
Band Mark AO4 AO2 QWC1 40-35 •sophisticated critical perception •sensitive understanding of the •text is legible in response to and interpretation significance and effects of •spelling, punctuation and of text writers’ choices of language, grammar are accurate and cogent and precise evaluation of structure and form assured well-selected detail from the text •meaning is very clearly communicated2 32-28 •clear and well-developed critical •clear, critical understanding of •text is legible response to the text the effects of writers’ choices •spelling, punctuation and •clear evaluation of relevant from of language, structure and grammar are accurate the text form •meaning is very clearly communicated3 27-21 •a developed personal response •good overall understanding •text is legible to the text that writers’ choices of •spelling, punctuation and •use of appropriate support from language, structure and form grammar are mainly accurate detail of the text contribute to meaning/effect •meaning is clearly communicated4 20-14 •reasonably organised response •understanding of some •text is legible to text features of language, structure •some errors in spelling, •use of some relevant support and/or form punctuation and grammar from the text •meaning is clearly communicated for most of the answerBelow 4 13-0 •some straightforward comments •a little response to features of •text is mostly legible on the text language, structure and/or •frequent errors in spelling, •use of a little support from the form punctuation and grammar text •communication of meaning is sometimes hindered
CandidatetoA sent home before theIn this scene from Journey’s End, Hibbert is trying getGerman attack which Stanhope says will happen on Thursday. Hibbert says he hasneuralgia. He thinks he can report sick and expects to leave: “I’ve got all my stuffpacked”. Stanhope knows that Hibbert is pretending to be ill and is determined thatHibbert stays “and do your job”.The scene is very dramatic. In a way I think that Stanhope understands whatHibbert is feeling, because Stanhope really feels the same way. Stanhope drinks alot so he doesn’t give in to the fear. Stanhope is a good leader as in this scene hemakes sure that Hibbert doesn’t leave the trenches. He does this by threatening toshoot Hibbert. He gives Hibbert a choice. If Hibbert tries to leave, Stanhope will“have you shot --- for deserting”. To be shot by a firing-squad is “a hell of adisgrace”. Or, if Hibbert tries to leave the dug-out, Stanhope will shoot him“between the eyes” and say his revolver went off accidentally while he wascleaning it. Really Hibbert has no choice. He will be killed by a firing squad or byStanhope. Either way he will be dead.It is very dramatic because Hibbert is so determined to leave the dug-out that he isprepared to let Stanhope shoot him. He tries to get round Stanhope who isblocking the steps out of the dug-out and when he can’t get past becauseStanhope “turns and thrusts him roughly back” he tries to physically attackStanhope with his walking-stick. This shows how much he wants to leave thetrenches because he could be shot for hitting a superior officer. Stanhope showsrespect for Hibbert as he says “I won’t have you shot for that”. He is giving Hibberta chance to choose between staying with his fellow-officers or being shot forcowardice.This scene is very dramatic because it shows how much Stanhope cares about themen he leads and how important it is for men to do their duty in the war.
Candidate BThis is a very dramatic and significant moment in the play. It shows the pressure that the officers areunder. Hibbert claims he has neuralgia and “shall die of this pain” if he is sent down the line, butStanhope knows that Hibbert is pretending to be sick so he can escape the big German attack expectedon Thursday. Osborne has described Stanhope as “the best company commander we’ve got” and inthis scene Stanhope shows that he is.Stanhope understands the pressure the officers are under. As he tells Hibbert later, “I hate and loathe itall” so he drinks to escape. Hibbert is trying physically to escape. The way Stanhope stops him is verydramatic. He is in control of the situation. When Hibbert goes into the dug-out, Stanhope “walks slowlytowards the steps … takes out his revolver, and stands casually examining it”. Hibbert is in a panic. Thestage directions show that he speaks “hysterically”, “pleadingly”, “in a whisper” “hoarsely” and “burstsinto a high-pitched laugh”.Stanhope gives Hibbert a choice. He can stay in the trenches, or be shot for deserting. To save him fromthe disgrace of being shot by a firing–squad for deserting, Stanhope will shoot him himself “I’m fiddlingwith my revolver, d’you see? --- cleaning it --- and it’s going off by accident … it’s going to shoot youbetween the eyes”. Sherriff makes the scene dramatic because Hibbert is so afraid of the trenches thathe chooses to be shot by Stanhope; “I swear I’ll never go into those trenches again. Shoot!”. The sceneis made more dramatic as Stanhope starts to count down the seconds before he pulls the trigger andthe audience is on the edge of its seat to see if he will pull the trigger or not. When Stanhope puts hisrevolver back in its holster, places his hands on Hibbert’s shoulders and says he admires his courage “Iliked the way you stuck that”, it’s almost an anti-climax. But it isn’t really as Stanhope like “the bestcompany commander” he is has given Hibbert the courage to stay “and see it through”. So he hassaved Hibbert from disgrace and given his company a better chance by keeping Hibbert in thetrenches.Sherriff makes this a very dramatic scene and shows that Stanhope is a good psychologist. He getswhat he wants even though it hurts him. When Hibbert “breaks down and cries” Stanhope “turnsaway” because he understands Hibbert’s fear and what is likely to happen to them when the Germanattack begins.
Examiner’s CommentaryCandidate A This response shows some understanding of what is dramatic about the extract, seeing the conflict between Stanhope and Hibbert, and something of the physical conflict. It also shows some understanding of Stanhope. It misses out important parts of the extract, such as Stanhope’s counting down of the seconds and Hibbert’s choosing to be shot rather than go back into the trenches. A middle band response.Candidate B This response looks closely at what is dramatic about this moment, selects material to support the interpretation and looks at language, especially of the stage directions to show how Sherriff presents his view of the pressures men are under in time of war. A higher response.
Another Question• How does Sherriff make the difference between Hibbert and Stanhope so dramatic? Remember to support your ideas with details from the play.
PlanHibbert Stanhope STRUCTURE• Role: shows the effect war • Role: Leader, protagonist had on men – cowardice • Coping: Hides fear through THEME• Coping: faking neuralgia drinking• Personality: • Personality: LANGUAGE Forceful, dedicated, leader, selfish, weak, coward, lacks confidence brave, persuasive• Joined because he had to • Joined out of duty
The Perfect Explain Take each of these points with evidence and complete the EXPLAIN. Use the bank of analytical phrases to help you. ANALYTICALPoint Evidence PHRASESDifference in the way the Stanhope: There were only two ways of breaking the Sherriff’s use of ...men cope with war. strain. One was pretending I was ill – and going home; the other was this (he holds up his glass) The audience is lead to feel... Hibbert: This neuralgia of mine... I’m afraid I can’t stick it any longer. This shows... Stanhope: I couldn’t bear being fully conscious all the The use of X time - Implies...They are portrayed as very Hibbert: Stanhope! I’ve tried like hell... Every sound updifferent men. there makes me all – cold and sick. Audience Theme Stanhope: If you went - and left Osborne and Trotter Language and Raleigh and all those men up there to do your work Form/Structure – could you ever look a man straight in the face again – in all your life? Don’t forget the question asks about the DRAMA created by these contrasts
Another Question Hardy tells Osborne: “You, Osborne, you ought to be commanding this company.” How far does Sherriff’s portrayal of Osborne convince you that Hardy is right about him?• What are the key words in this question?• What characteristics should a commander possess?• What qualities are we shown in Osborne that convince us he would make a good commander?• What qualities is the current commander lacking?• What are we shown to be lacking in Osborne’s character that would impede his fulfilling this position? 1. Supportive (Language) 2. Role model (whole play/ stage directions) 3. Lacking ... Whereas Stanhope ...
The play is set in WW1 on the frontline where a good commander would have been vital forthe survival of a company in the trenches. A commander needed to display the qualities of:support for the men, strength, tactical thinking, calmness, fairness and be able to act as arole model for the younger officers. Sherriff’s portrayal of Osborne’s character certainlyshows that he possesses many of the qualities of a commander.As Hardy’s line suggests, Osborne is a character who is portrayed as being respected by themen. The main reason for this, as the audience is shown throughout, is Osborne’ssupportive nature. At the end of the opening scene, the job of which is to allow Sherriff toestablish characters and relationships, Osborne and Stanhope’s relationship is revealed tothe audience. Osborne is portrayed as being defensive and supportive of Stanhope as acommanding officer and a friend. Sherriff shows Osborne putting Stanhope to bed asStanhope has drunk too much, “Come along, Old chap. You come and lie down here.”Sherriff’s use of language portrays Osborne as gentle and supportive of Stanhope. Headdresses Stanhope kindly, regardless of Stanhope’s rather aggressive manner towards him.“Old Chap” suggests a friendliness – as a commanding officer he should be addressed as‘Sir’. Sherriff establishes an almost father/son relationship. Osborne’s use of imperatives,“come and lie down” is like a parent leading a child firmly. In front of the other menOsborne and Stanhope are commander and officer, but alone on stage they are more likefriends or even parent and child. Another example of Osborne’s supportive nature is in Act 3Scene 1 as he attempts calm Rayleigh as they prepare for the raid. “...now let’s forget allabout it for – (he looks at his watch) – for six minutes.” Sherriff portrays Osborne in the roleof mentor to Rayleigh, here trying to take the nervous boy’s mind off the impending attack.And later in the same scene when this fails Osborne resorts to his method of escape,children’s poetry “The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things...” This methodof distraction seems to work much better and Osborne manages to distract Rayleigh for thenext few minutes. Sherriff’s portrayal of Osborne as a character who cares enough to try tosupport Rayleigh, is a feature which, as an audience, we find convincingly supportive ofHardy’s claim that Osborne would make a good commander.