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Compare and contrast views of the First World War as presented by the poets of that era and by Pat Barker in "Regeneration".

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Compare and contrast views of the First World War as presented by the poets of that era and by Pat Barker in "Regeneration" The First World War was looked upon as a heroic and courageous task to perform for your country. The young men of that era were influenced by propaganda to fight in the war as it portrayed true chivalry. These views were also opposed by many but expressed by similar means which were poetry and novel writing. Although these were the main forms of literary pieces there were those who wrote diaries and extracts. This essay will look at the views of the First World War poets in contrast to Pat Barkers Regeneration. Regeneration is a war novel which looks at the harsh reality of the First World War as experienced by young men from the United Kingdom. Although barker had no direct experience of the World War 1, her writing strongly shows her opposing view which is similar to Sassoon and Owen. Regeneration is set in a mental hospital where a series of realistic and fictional characters are interwoven. Two of the main characters included Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, who were admitted into Craig Lockhart where Dr. Rivers treated them for the psychological injuries they both attained throughout the duration of the war. Regeneration is a novel which looks at the psychological damage in which war has on the soldiers. ...read more.


Wilfred Owen was another poet who had similar views to Barker and Sassoon. In the poem Dulce Et Decorum Est, Owen touches on the similar views to Barker, as they both looked at the psychological effects which the soldiers faced though out the war. "Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmet just in time" (lines 9-10) These lines show that the soldiers are not mentally stable to be fighting. Their mental state of mind seems to be effected which was the point Owen tried to carry forward. The soldiers are young men who may not have exposed to this environment and the things they did see were graphic as Owen describes. "If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth corrupted lungs Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues" (lines 21-24) Owen was very much affected by the war which was why he was admitted to Craig Lockhart. The experience which he endured, tortured him as he spoke of in his poetry. "In all my dreams, before my helpless sight He plunges at me guttering, choking, drowning" (line15-16) This shows that the images played over in his mind which eventually tormented and turned him psychologically mad Owen and Sassoon shared the same views and ideas, which they both put forward into heir writing. ...read more.


Pope believes and has faith in all the men going to war and she also has faith that they will return unharmed. She puts across the image that the soldiers will be rewarded for their actions. "Who's going out to win?" (Line 5) This gives the soldiers the impression that they are heroic figures who will be rewarded. The issue of death was never mentioned and those who didn't sing up were known to be called cowards. The poem The Call on a whole gives the impression of watching a television advertisement or reading a propaganda poster. This poem glamorises the war and the poem makes you feel as if you are missing out if you didn't join in. The views of the First World War fall into two categories Anti and Pro. Barker who is a modern day novel writer, Sassoon and Owen are anti war poets. Their work proves this greatly, their views do not waver or change when reading, and they are strong writers who have a passion for what they believe in. Pope and Brooke's poetry falls into the category of pro war. Their poetry praises war and like the anti war poets the pro war poets believe strongly in war and they take pride in their views. Barker who contradicts all the above mentioned poets as she focuses her novel on the psychological effects which the soldiers endure, the poets focus on the living conditions and torture endure but also the chivalric and heroic action in the First World War. ...read more.

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*** 3 STARS
This is a well organised and logically structured essay but the quality of analysis is uneven. In some places the writer makes perceptive comments which are well supported by appropriate quotes. Yet in other places more quotes and analysis of language are needed. Sometimes the writer has not clearly understood the poem.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 07/08/2013

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