Journey’s End

by

R.C. Sherriff

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Raleigh Character Analysis

A young officer fresh out of school. Raleigh went to the same school as Stanhope, who is several years older than him. As such, he has always admired Stanhope—so much so that he asked a high-ranking relation of his to help him get placed in Stanhope’s infantry. When he arrives in the trenches and sees Stanhope once more, though, he’s surprised to find his role model significantly changed. Whereas Stanhope used to be a strapping and optimistic man, now he is a war-worn alcoholic who treats Raleigh with the same gruff indifference he shows all the other soldiers. Nonetheless, Raleigh remains eager and good-natured as he becomes accustomed to life in the trenches. What surprises him most, he tells Officer Osborne at one point, is how calm and quiet everything is at war. When Raleigh is selected to carry out a very dangerous raid on the German trenches, he doesn’t balk. In fact, he’s flattered to have been chosen. Thankfully, he survives, but Osborne—who helped him lead the raid—doesn’t, and this fundamentally changes Raleigh, making him somber and sad. Whereas the other officers (including Stanhope) celebrate the success of the raid by drinking heavily and eating fine foods, Raleigh decides to stand watch with lower-ranking soldiers. This infuriates Stanhope, who asks why Raleigh would rather be with the soldiers than with the officers, and Raleigh tells him that he couldn’t possibly enjoy such a hearty meal knowing that Osborne’s body still lies somewhere out there in the fields. Later, when the Germans finally attack the British trenches, Raleigh is badly injured, and Stanhope stays with him until the end, finally dispensing with the formality of calling his friend by his last name. “Is that better, Jimmy?” he asks, but Raleigh has already shut his eyes forever.

Raleigh Quotes in Journey’s End

The Journey’s End quotes below are all either spoken by Raleigh or refer to Raleigh. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Journey’s End published in 1929.
Act 1 Quotes

OSBORNE: You may find he’s—he’s a little bit quick-tempered.

RALEIGH [laughing]: Oh, I know old Dennis’s temper! I remember once at school he caught some chaps in a study with a bottle of whisky. Lord! the roof nearly blew off. He gave them a dozen each with a cricket stump.

[OSBORNE laughs]

He was so keen on the fellows in the house keeping fit. He was frightfully down on smoking—and that sort of thing.

OSBORNE: You must remember he’s commanded this company for a long time—through all sorts of rotten times. It’s—it’s a big strain on a man. […] If you notice a—difference in Stanhope—you’ll know it’s only the strain—

Related Characters: Raleigh (speaker), Osborne (speaker), Stanhope
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

RALEIGH: It’s—it’s not exactly what I thought. It’s just this—this quiet that seems so funny.

OSBORNE: A hundred yards from here the Germans are sitting in their dugouts, thinking how quiet it is.

RALEIGH: Are they as near as that?

OSBORNE: About a hundred yards.

RALEIGH: It seems—uncanny. It makes me feel we’re—we’re all just waiting for something.

OSBORNE: We are, generally, just waiting for something. When anything happens, it happens quickly. Then we just start waiting again.

Related Characters: Raleigh (speaker), Osborne (speaker)
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

OSBORNE: I believe Raleigh’ll go on liking you—and looking up to you—through everything. There’s something very deep, and rather fine, about hero-worship.

STANHOPE: Hero-worship be damned! [He pauses, then goes on, in a strange, high-pitched voice] You know, Uncle, I’m an awful fool. I’m captain of this company. What’s that bloody little prig of a boy matter? D’you see? He’s a little prig. Wants to write home and tell Madge all about me. Well, he won’t; d’you see, Uncle? He won’t write! Censorship! I censor his letters—cross out all he says about me.

OSBORNE: You can’t read his letters.

STANHOPE [dreamily]: Cross out all he says about me. Then we all go west in the big attack—and she goes on thinking I’m a fine fellow for ever—and ever—and ever. [He pours out a drink, murmuring ‘Ever—and ever—and ever.’]

Related Characters: Stanhope (speaker), Raleigh
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

OSBORNE: I remember up at Wipers we had a man shot when he was out on patrol. Just at dawn. We couldn’t get him in that night. He lay out there groaning all day. Next night three of our men crawled out to get him in. It was so near the German trenches that they could have shot our fellows one by one. But, when our men began dragging the wounded man back over the rough ground, a big German officer stood up in their trenches and called out. ‘Carry him!’—and our fellows stood up and carried the man back and the German officer fired some lights for them to see by.

RALEIGH: How topping!

OSBORNE: Next day we blew each other’s trenches to blazes.

RALEIGH: It all seems rather—silly, doesn’t it?

Related Characters: Raleigh (speaker), Osborne (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

I was feeling bad. I forgot Raleigh was out there with Trotter. I’d forgotten all about him. I was sleepy. I just knew something beastly had happened. Then he came in with Trotter—and looked at me. After coming in out of the night air, this place must have reeked of candle-grease, and rats—and whisky. One thing a boy like that can’t stand is a smell that isn’t fresh. He looked at me as if I’d hit him between the eyes—as if I’d spat on him—

Related Characters: Stanhope (speaker), Raleigh, Osborne, Trotter
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

If you went—and left Osborne and Trotter and Raleigh and all those men up there to do your work—could you ever look a man straight in the face again—in all your life! [There is silence again.] You may be wounded. Then you can go home and feel proud—and if you’re killed you—you won’t have to stand this hell any more. I might have fired just now. If I had you would have been dead now. But you’re still alive—with a straight fighting chance of coming through. Take the chance, old chap, and stand in with Osborne and Trotter and Raleigh. Don’t you think it worth standing in with men like that?—when you know they all feel like you do—in their hearts—and just go on sticking it because they know it’s—it’s the only thing a decent man can do.

Related Characters: Stanhope (speaker), Raleigh, Osborne, Hibbert, Trotter
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

RALEIGH: Good God! Don’t you understand? How can I sit down and eat that—when—[his voice is nearly breaking]—when Osborne’s—lying—out there—

[STANHOPE rises slowly. His eyes are wide and staring; he is fighting for breath, and his words come brokenly.]

STANHOPE: My God! You bloody little swine! You think I don’t care—you think you’re the only soul that cares!

RALEIGH: And yet you can sit there and drink champagne—and smoke cigars—

STANHOPE: The one man I could trust—my best friend—the one man I could talk to as man to man—who understood everything—and you don’t think I care—

RALEIGH: But how can you when—?

STANHOPE: To forget, you little fool—to forget! D’you understand? To forget! You think there’s no limit to what a man can bear?

Related Characters: Stanhope (speaker), Raleigh (speaker), Osborne
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Journey’s End LitChart as a printable PDF.
Journey’s End PDF

Raleigh Character Timeline in Journey’s End

The timeline below shows where the character Raleigh appears in Journey’s End. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
At this point, the new officer arrives. His name is Raleigh, and he’s a “healthy-looking boy of about eighteen” who looks a bit “bewildered” by the... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Raleigh tells Osborne that Stanhope was the rugby captain at his school. When Osborne asks if... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Osborne adds that Stanhope is a “bit quick-tempered,” but Raleigh merely says, “Oh, I know old Dennis’s temper! I remember once at school he caught... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
Osborne and Raleigh discuss the fact that their trench is only 70 yards from German trenches, though the... (full context)
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
Raleigh describes his journey to the support line, describing the many trenches he traveled through. On... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Mason enters the dugout, interrupting Osborne and Raleigh’s conversation by informing Osborne that the can of pineapple chunks he secured for the company... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
Osborne breaks the tension between Stanhope and Raleigh by informing Stanhope that they’ll have to make do with apricots instead of pineapples. At... (full context)
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Trotter and Raleigh go together to work a shift above the dugout. Meanwhile, Osborne and Stanhope decide which... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Osborne changes the subject, saying Raleigh is a “good-looking youngster.” When he reveals that Raleigh mentioned the fact that he and... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Stanhope shows Osborne a picture of Raleigh’s sister. “She is waiting for me,” he says, “and she doesn’t know. She thinks I’m... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...as ever.” Stanhope agrees that he used to think the same thing, but now that Raleigh has been assigned to his company, he doesn’t think his life will be the same.... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
“Hero-worship be damned!” Stanhope explodes. He then decides to censor Raleigh’s letters so he can control what his lover hears about him. “You can’t read his... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
The next morning, Osborne, Trotter, and Raleigh sit in the dugout eating breakfast. When Osborne asks Trotter how things are in the... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
The night before, Trotter tells Osborne at breakfast, he and Raleigh came into the dugout after their shift and saw that Stanhope had gotten up from... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
Once Osborne and Raleigh are alone, they talk about Raleigh’s first night in the trenches, and Raleigh admits that... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
After talking about rugby, Osborne and Raleigh talk about their German enemies. Osborne tells a story about how one of his fellow... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
As Raleigh leaves, Stanhope comes in and tells him to inspect his platoon’s rifles at nine o’clock.... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Stanhope turns his attention to censoring Raleigh’s letters, insisting to Osborne that he’s going to have to do this—especially after last night,... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Raleigh finally relents and puts the letter on the table without sealing it. When he leaves,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
...else should go, the only person fit and emotionally stable enough to do it is Raleigh, but Stanhope tries first to send “a good sergeant.” Unfortunately, the Colonel rejects this, instead... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...never be able to forgive himself for leaving behind men like Osborne and Trotter and Raleigh. “Don’t you think it worth standing in with men like that?” he asks. Finally, Hibbert... (full context)
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
When Hibbert leaves, Osborne enters, and Stanhope informs him that he and Raleigh will be leading the raid on the German trenches. The plan, he explains, is that... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
Osborne suggests that Trotter avoid talking to Raleigh about the raid, saying that the young boy doesn’t need to know the mission is... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
...him write a letter in peace, and Trotter sets to writing his own. Just then, Raleigh excitedly rushes in and says that Stanhope told him about the raid. “I say,” he... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...the plan once more—the Colonel telling Stanhope they’ll question the German prisoner right away—Osborne and Raleigh enter the dugout. Stanhope encourages the Colonel to go speak to the rest of the... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
On his way out, the Colonel wishes Osborne and Raleigh good luck, saying he’ll recommend them for awards if they succeed and reminding them how... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
After Stanhope leaves, Osborne and Raleigh try to pass the time before the raid. They only have six minutes, but it... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Finally, the time comes for Osborne and Raleigh to depart for the raid. On their way out, Raleigh notices Osborne’s ring on the... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...how the men fared, asking if they’re “all safely back.” In response, Stanhope answers that Raleigh and four men returned safely, but that Osborne—along with six other men—have died. Osborne, it... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Raleigh sits on Osborne’s bed, and once he and Stanhope are alone, they look at each... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...officers. As he does this, Trotter says he’ll finish his whiskey and then go relieve Raleigh, wondering aloud why the boy never came down to eat with them. “That lad’s too... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
...Hibbert stumbles to the sleeping quarters, leaving Stanhope with Trotter, who is preparing to relieve Raleigh. Once alone, Stanhope tells Mason to bring Raleigh’s supper, but when Raleigh finally arrives, the... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
“You insulted Trotter and Hibbert by not coming,” Stanhope tells Raleigh. After a moment of silence, Raleigh says, “I’m awfully sorry, Dennis, if—if I annoyed you... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Realizing the effect of his words on Stanhope, Raleigh apologizes, saying, “I’m awfully sorry, Dennis—I—I didn’t understand.” Stanhope makes no reply, so Raleigh tries... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...him tea. Trotter, for his part, has already gotten dressed and woken up Hibbert and Raleigh. Soon enough the Sergeant-Major arrives, and Stanhope tells him to make sure all of the... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
When Raleigh goes up, he turns and says, “Cheero—Stanhope.” From where he sits, Stanhope doesn’t raise his... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
...this, the Sergeant-Major bounds up the steps, and when he returns, he tells Stanhope that Raleigh has been hit in the spine by a shell and can’t move his legs. Stanhope... (full context)
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Fear and Coping Theme Icon
When the Sergeant-Major leaves, Raleigh wakes up and is in a rather jovial mood, greeting Stanhope as if nothing terrible... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Realizing the gravity of the situation, Raleigh begins to understand that he can’t move his legs. “Dennis—” he whispers after a moment... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
...he’s alone, he pauses one last time over Osborne’s bed and “runs his fingers over Raleigh’s tousled hair.” Having done this, he finally climbs the steps, pausing for a moment as... (full context)