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

Examine the Presentation of WW1 In “Regeneration” and Comment On the Effectiveness of the Blend of Fact and Fiction and the Attitudes Revealed Through the Writers Approach.

Extracts from this document...


Examine the presentation of WWI in "Regeneration" and comment on the effectiveness of the blend of fact and fiction and the attitudes revealed through the writers approach. The novel produces an eloquent statement against the madness of war. The story is closely based on the publications and annotated literary papers of three men who actually met at Craiglockhart Hospital, Edinburgh, in 1917: psychiatrist W. H. R. Rivers and the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Barker probes the tenacious role of class within the military hierarchy, while the society, which it defends, is rapidly transformed by the converging lives of domestic servants and aristocrats. Her descriptions are powerful: the yellow skin of women who work in the munitions factory; the surgeon who can no longer bear the sight of blood; the young soldier who cannot eat because his nose and mouth had once been filled with rotting flesh when he was hoisted by a grenade into the decomposing belly of a dead German. ...read more.


The then current concept was "shell shock" and it was a controversial diagnosis. Also a matter of debate and of discrepancy in practice was the approach to treatment. The language of Craiglockhart and other medical institutions mentioned would have been a special challenge to the novelist, one that I find she has managed extremely well. There is sufficient probing and personal revelation to illustrate psychological work, but little interpretation or counselling, no psychological jargon, which would divert the focus from the painful encounters on the part of both patient and therapist. We get some insight into "compassion fatigue" as well, as Rivers struggles with the realisation that he desperately needs a break from his involvement with his patients. The principal focus is on the dialogue between Rivers and Sassoon and on Sassoon's desperate attempt to direct the nation to negotiate rather than continue the trench warfare, or as he put it: " ... ...read more.


One might expect expression of moral revulsion at any violence towards persons, but Pat Barker is true to the historical characters and presents a developing realisation of Sassoon's position that the national leaders had betrayed the soldiers by abandoning the initial purpose of the war, "defence and liberation", in favour of "aggression and conquest". By living through events in the psychiatric hospital over several weeks, we as readers get to live with several shell-shocked soldiers as they struggle to regain a stable level of functioning. Their caring treatment by Rivers is contrasted at one point with the treatment devised by Yealland. That dramatic account showed the extremity at how different each doctor was in his methods of "curing" the patients. I feel Pat Barker was extremely successful in her presentation of the characters. She effectively and persuasively combined fact and fiction to create a powerful and evocative novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Gallacher ...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. Henri Barbusse: UnderFire. Review of novel about French squad in WW1

    Barbusse thus described the most common source of disillusionment in World War I: the harsh reality of war, which slowly eroded the glorious and noble illusion in which young men had firmly believed. Barbusse, as noted before, depicted this reality as a painful, terrifying experience that was more about survival than heroism.

  2. Compare the Presentation of Attitudes towards the War in 'Regeneration' and 'All Quiet on ...

    national identity was the primary component of one's overall identity, had reached new heights of intensity in the nineteenth century and carried over into the start of World War 1. By focusing on the experience of Rivers, a practising psychiatrist at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Barker heightens the conflict between duty and sympathy.

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

    The feeling of pride is indicated through the use of the phrase 'The mix [of soldiers] was so amazing', the word 'amazing' suggests he is almost in awe of the people he shared his experience with. Herr's respect for the soldiers and the tangible feeling of interdependence and camaraderie generated

  2. What attitudes towards the First World War have you found in the poetry you ...

    The poet's purpose in writing the poem was to help persuade people, men in particular to join the war or otherwise your life will simply be worthless and a complete misery. During the war many propaganda posters/songs and poems were established to help persuade and convince people going to war is a great and fascinating experience.

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