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

1079 words 5 pages
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…

There is a lot of pauses in between the spoken conversation about the attack. This makes the scene slow to watch on stage creating a lot of tension. Stanhope also talks in the short sentences to the colonel, which is surprising as the colonel is higher ranked than him “A surprise daylight raid under a smoke screen…” “Quite” pg 53. The Colonel also stutters when Stanhope asks if he should go on the attack, the Colonel replies “ Oh, No, Stanhope. I-I can’t let you go.”pg 53. This again brings back the hopelessness of the attack, the fact that the Colonel doesn’t want Stanhope to go on the raid shows that the raid is ridiculously dangerous and the Colonel doesn’t want to risk losing his best officer.
As sheriff has wrote a play and not a novel, it is a challenge to expose the characters true feelings and emotions and this has to be done purely through their actions. Raleigh is a key character in showing us about Stanhope’s character. Raleigh represents the old life of Stanhope, and how badly Stanhope has been affected by the war. Raleigh’s often surprise and shock at Stanhope’s