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Compare two pieces of war literature

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Introduction

A comparison of the presentation of trauma in the Poetry of Wilfred Owen and Regeneration by Pat Barker In order to explore the presentation of trauma in Owen's poetry and Regeneration by Pat Barker a definition of the word 'trauma' must be determined. Trauma is both physical and psychological illness, in the Physical sense trauma refers to a physical injury such as a wound, broken bones or loss of limb which can change the outlook and actions of a soldiers such as having "sleeve sewn"1 to cover up the ghastly injury, whereas in the psychological sense it can be displayed through a loss of control of bodily functions like "a tortured alimentary canal"2 causing irregularities in digestion leading to vomiting or diarrhoea. Barker's Novel looks at individual case studies away from the trenches using the technique of flashback, she describes the true horror that the soldiers faced and also the psychological after effects they have to deal with, "dead minds revisited"3 , psychological difficulties were not often considered in Owen's time and therefore a different view appears. "The old lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori", translates to 'it is sweet and right to die for your country' is ironically placed at the end of the poem Dulce et Decorum est. ...read more.

Middle

Prior removing his uniform could be seen as unusual to the reader, further emphasising how the experience of war can lead to a disturbed mind and signs of trauma can develop. The oddity of his behaviour is clearly a sign of trauma due to his war experiences, it could also be argued that Owen's war experiences have made him bitter, before the war he was training to become a priest, in this poem he describes how there are "no prayers nor bells" as there is no time for the niceties and God is no longer an essential part of his life. Both Owen and Barker use sound in order to emphasise the men's unnerved disposition. In Regeneration Barker describes a bus journey, she uses this everyday occurrence to emphasise how noises that a person who hadn't experienced war would class as normal are a reminder to the horror they suffered in the trenches "a branch rattled along the windows with a sound like machine gun fire, and he had to bite his lips to stop himself crying out." This is similar to Anthem for Doomed Youth where Owen uses juxtaposition to describe the "demented choirs of wailing shells" this again brings into light Owen's attitude of the effect of war on religion the "demented choir" would symbolise a traumatic experience on his spiritual being. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pat Barker recognises Rivers' work with mutism during her Novel and shows the paternal nature of Rivers, compared to the shock therapy offered by Yelland. This helps to emphasise the different methods used to treat trauma during the First World War. Yelland chose to treat trauma, displayed through mutism with "force" insisting "you must talk before you leave me." And applying an "electrode" to the spine. Whereas Rivers feels guilty after applying a "tongue depressor" into Prior's mouth. Showing the two extremities of treatment. Owen instead explores the inability of people to talk about the problem as in the Edwardian society there was a sense of male pride where medical matters had a stigma attached to them therefore medical treatment was not discussed. In conclusion the two writers have a very different approach in displaying the trauma of war, Barker tries to explore their re-integration to society their traumatic experiences, her factual researched based approach producing a text of clinical detachment whereas Owen focuses all of his poetry in the trenches, poetry presenting their horror and poetry born out of trauma and suffering that creates a vivid portrayal of the effects on the soldiers minds. Sir....conclusion=rubbish! HELP!! 1 Disabled By Wilfred Owen 2 Regeneration by Pat Barker 3 Regeneration by Pat Barker 4 Regeneration by Pat Barker 5 Regeneration by Pat Barker ?? ?? ?? ?? Kate Maddison English coursework ...read more.

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