Journey’s End

by

R.C. Sherriff

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Trotter Character Analysis

An officer in Stanhope’s infantry. Trotter is jovial, irreverent, and gluttonous, frequently giving Mason—the cook—a hard time about the food served in the dugout. Although Trotter provides primarily comedic relief in Journey’s End, he also taps into an important element of the play’s thematic material by creating a chart that outlines the remaining hours he and his fellow officers have to spend in the trenches before going back to a safer, more removed area. Each time an hour passes, Trotter blackens one of the 144 circles he has drawn on the piece of paper, thereby making the passage of time more tangible than it might otherwise seem in the tense atmosphere of the trenches.

Trotter Quotes in Journey’s End

The Journey’s End quotes below are all either spoken by Trotter or refer to Trotter. 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 2, Scene 1 Quotes

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:

OSBORNE: Haven’t you read it?

TROTTER [scornfully]: No!

OSBORNE: You ought to. [Reads]
How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale?
How cheerfully he seems to grin
And neatly spread his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!

TROTTER [after a moment’s thought]: I don’t see no point in that.

OSBORNE [wearily]: Exactly. That’s just the point.

Related Characters: Osborne (speaker), Trotter (speaker)
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Journey’s End LitChart as a printable PDF.
Journey’s End PDF

Trotter Character Timeline in Journey’s End

The timeline below shows where the character Trotter appears in Journey’s End. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
...informing Stanhope that they’ll have to make do with apricots instead of pineapples. At this, Trotter—one of the other officers, who entered the dugout with Stanhope—rejoices, saying he loves apricots and... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
“Well, boys!” Trotter says, “ ’Ere we are for six days again. Six bloomin’ eternal days.” As he... (full context)
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Trotter and Raleigh go together to work a shift above the dugout. Meanwhile, Osborne and Stanhope... (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... (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... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...we shall be in the front row of the stalls.” He then looks down at Trotter’s chart, asking what it is. Osborne explains that it’s “Trotter’s plan to make the time... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
Osborne urges Stanhope to not defile Trotter’s chart, saying that he spent a long time making it. Stanhope agrees that Trotter probably... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...leave, he’d 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.... (full context)
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
...dash into the trenches to grab hostages. Osborne accepts this, and Stanhope leaves. Soon after, Trotter comes out of the sleeping quarters and sits down to have tea with Osborne, who... (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... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
...fetches Hibbert from the sleeping quarters, and together they go on watch. After they leave, Trotter tells Osborne that Hibbert’s eyes were so red that he thinks he may have been... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
That night, Trotter, Stanhope, and Hibbert enjoy the fresh chicken, the bottles of champagne, and the cigars brought... (full context)
Friendship and Human Interaction Theme Icon
...out of here!” Stanhope shouts, and 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,... (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,... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Fear and Coping Theme Icon
...day, and Stanhope is still in bed. Mason gently wakes him and gives him tea. Trotter, for his part, has already gotten dressed and woken up Hibbert and Raleigh. Soon enough... (full context)
Anticipation, Expectations, and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Repitition, Futility, and Perspective Theme Icon
...the attack rage louder and louder. Finally, a soldier rushes down and tells Stanhope that Trotter has asked that he “come at once.” Stanhope sends him away, promising he’s on his... (full context)