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Compare and contrast the way in which Pat Barker and R.C. Sheriff present the relationships between men of different class in "Regeneration" and "Journey's End" respectively.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the way in which Pat Barker and R.C. Sheriff present the relationships between men of different class in "Regeneration" and "Journey's End" respectively. Regeneration and Journey's End provide us with two contrasting views on the same subject; namely World War One. In Regeneration we have the stereotypical conception of early 20th century war - a heroic young officer leading his men to glory with no regard for himself. In contrast to this, Journey's End is a less traditional World War One text, with many characters and scenes included for nothing more than comic relief. It is fair to say that Regeneration deals with the war in a head on manner rather than dodging the subject of it, whereas in Journey's End, the matter of the war is somewhat disguised - fleeting references to combat amid the humour of Stanhope in his drunken stupor, and the farcical nature of Mason's nature in the trench. There are many complex and developing interrelationships in both Regeneration and Journey's End. ...read more.

Middle

Sassoon's heroism demands the respect he is given, and maybe this is what made Owen feel intimidated. As the novel progresses, we see Sassoon and Owen forming a predictable friendship: playing golf, producing poetry etc. This is one of the many relationships that develop between men of different class in the texts. Staying with Regeneration, we also have the relationship between Rivers and Prior. In Dr. William Rivers we see a very "down-to-earth" character with whom the audience can relate. Pat Barker states that she wanted to write a war novel that revolves around a central character that didn't fight in the war. Rivers portrays this central character brilliantly, as Rivers is a very well respected psychiatrist with whom the other characters can identify. In Billy Prior, we see a neurasthenic second-lieutenant, who suffers from nightmares and mutism. "His nightmares were so bad that his room-mate was getting no sleep." "If you speak to him, he just stares right through you." Friendship is perhaps too strong a word to use to describe the relationship between Rivers and Prior, but there is definitely an element of respect woven into their relationship at Craiglockhart. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is the first time that we feel sympathy for Stanhope, and is the first time we are let into his mental state. Perhaps the most touching moment of friendship comes when Hibbert goes to find comfort from Stanhope for his neuralgia, and receives nothing but contempt. Under threat of being shot by Stanhope, Hibbert stands his ground and pleads with him. This shows that Hibbert knows more about Stanhope that he lets on, as no rational man would stand motionless with a gun pointed to his head. Stanhope finds that he cannot shoot Hibbert, and we see Stanhope finally pushed over the edge. This is the finest scene of comradeship in the play, and alludes to the attitudes felt by those at home, that all the troops were sticking together - an attitude not often displayed in Journey's End, as it takes a totally different attitude on the war, overlooking the bare truth about the events that would come before the end of the war. Stanhope in his sober state can be compared to Rivers. Stanhope is portrayed as a caring, fatherly figure whilst sober. This links into the way that Rivers is viewed by his patients at Craiglockhart. ...read more.

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