• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A comparison of how the War psychologically changes Barton in Strange Meeting and Prior in Regeneration.

Extracts from this document...


A comparison of how the War psychologically changes Barton in Strange Meeting and Prior in Regeneration. As Pat Barker's 'Regeneration' is set in a mental hospital during World War I many aspects of the novel evaluate and discuss the psychological effects that the War has had on the patients. The novel explores the internal struggles of WWI soldiers and their attempts to overcome the trauma of war experiences. In 'Strange Meeting' a different approach to the war is addressed with much of the novel being set in the trenches and at the front line. The novel closely examines the relationship between two soldiers Barton and Hilliard and the extent of change caused by the war is a prominent theme throughout, showing clearly the emotional and physical changes the war has caused. Prior is an initially difficult patient who suffers from mutism, writing that he has 'NO MORE WORDS' when asked what he could remember from his time served in France. Barker's use of block capital letters and short, blunt statements here leads us to at first believe that Prior is not only an uncooperative patient hindering a possible speedy recovery but also inwardly angry and agitated. Although Prior gives the staff at Craiglockhart a hard time, describing the night staff as 'spies', and with this sarcastic dismissive attitude is perhaps at first perceived as though he doesn't want to get better we soon realise that he is simply a difficult character who actually really wants to recover and as fast as possible, 'it isn't fair to say I don't want treatment'. ...read more.


By the end of the novel Hilliard has changed his opinion claiming that it is in fact him that 'knew nothing about the war', but in actually fact despite once wanting to know everything he now 'did not want to know' suggesting that it was a better situation to be in to be naive and uninformed as when not in the trenches 'the air smelled sweet and dry' this is due to his relationship with Barton and after losing him, the only person that understood, he feels lost and is able to put things into perspective. Hilliard and Barton's relationship is portrayed by Hill as something that was rare during the War but its importance is made extremely clear and we realise this when we compare Barton to a character such as Prior, it is their Barton and Hilliard's closeness that allows them to remain reasonably sane throughout their time in the trenches despite the strong feelings of 'hoping against hope'. It is their close proximity that allows both characters to embrace their emotions rather than repressing them as we see frequently through the character Prior in Regeneration. Using hypnosis releases hidden thoughts and feelings; it is this particular release of thoughts and feelings that is shown when Prior tells Rivers 'I don't think talking helps. It just churns things up and makes them seem more real.' He is not willing to express emotion to Rivers in a fully conscious state, but he is willing to undergo complete physical submission in order to let his true emotions emerge and face his painful memories. ...read more.


'Barton was looking with interest at the rough edged scar along his (Hilliard) left thigh' Barton looks up to Hilliard, realising he is experienced and longing to learn from him. His childlike innocence is again reinforced here as he 'peers at it closely as he used to peer at scabs and bruises on arms and knees as a small boy'. By the end of the novel Hilliard has admiration for Barton believing in him, which is ironic as at the beginning of the novel Hilliard dismisses Barton as a naive youngster fooled by propaganda. Both Barton and Prior share a lot in common both having experiencing trench life and struggling with the brutal truths of war. They both create relationships with people throughout the novels and through Barton and Hilliard's relationship and the relationships Prior shares with Sarah and Rivers we learn a lot about their characters and the difficulties soldiers experienced in talking about their experiences as there were so many people that 'didn't understand'. We see that although the physical scars can be healed quickly it is the emotional scars that do the most injury and ironically are the hardest to heal. Barker and Hill both portray this message about the war using a fragmented discontinuous style, which reflects the disjointed thought process of many of the soldiers. From both novels we are shown just how innocent those back at home are and how they really don't understand the depth of the matter. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. A comparison of the ways in which Pat Barker and Sebastian Faulks present different ...

    of pilgrimage", is portrayed in stark contrast to the simple Christian character of Jack Firebrace. He is introduced to us with his back "supported by a wooden cross" and expresses his religion through his kindness and humanity as he feels: "I should at least do my duty as a Christian"

  2. Consider the novels ‘Birdsong’ and ‘Regeneration’ compare Faulks’ and Barker’s presentation of life in ...

    enthusiasm' and an 'outrageous sense of right and wrong' and is also said to have quizzical eyes'. The war seems to transform the characters of Wraysford's novel, as it does to the characters of Braker's novel. Later on in Birdsong, and after seeing and enduring what they had we find

  1. Compare and Contrast the Relationship between Men in the Novels: 'Birdsong' by Sebastian Faulks ...

    For both characters the topic of women is a sensitive issue and the fact that they discuss it so freely establishes that their relationships is very strong. Faulks brings in laughter to diffuse a potentially life-threatening event (air raid) but also demonstrated the characteristics of a good relationship: 'Weir began to laugh.'

  2. Strange Meeting

    * "Mocks...hour" o Here, Owen is mocking the truth in the face of the torment of the soldiers fallen victim to a lie.

  1. Compare the ways Michael Herr in 'Dispatches' and Pat Barker in 'Regeneration' show the ...

    This makes the book a very personal account of Vietnam. The most personal issue raised is that of the true role of war correspondents. Characters are used to portray both sides of the argument. One marine almost threatens Herr to "tell it, man.

  2. 'A Comparison Of Differing Views/Attitudes To War With Reference To Regeneration, Strange Meeting, Selected ...

    She tries to bring out the theme of male competition, with the idea of who can be the best? 'Who'll grip and tackle the job unafraid' This poem proves to be ideological, as it's not the truth, but its what would have been preferred to the real outcome.

  1. Aftermath of WWI.

    war of awesome magnitude could possibly erupt at any time, and that nowhere was free and clear of such devastation. Yet again, in 1939 the world would see this to be true in d�j� vu fashion. Ernst Junger said of one of his fellow soldiers in his first novel, Storm

  2. On The Black Hill.

    When the slides were shown, it only showed pictures of happiness; it showed 'Tommies' basically having a good time and having fun. Some of the slides were very fuzzy, I think this is implying the question of how you can know what really happens.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work