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Explore the way Barker portrays the relationship between doctor and patient in Regeneration showing which relationship had the greatest impact on your understanding of the novel.

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Introduction

Explore the way Barker portrays the relationship between doctor and patient in Regeneration showing which relationship had the greatest impact on your understanding of the novel. In Regeneration, Barker combines fact and fiction to portray soldier's experiences of the war, which is revealed through the series of relationships between doctor and patients. Barker constantly brings Rivers' personality into focus whilst he is talking to his patients which shows how personal his relationships with his patients such as Sassoon, Anderson and Prior. Barker brings the war to life by the flashbacks the soldiers experience in their nightmares as well as in their interaction with Dr. Rivers. The title 'Regeneration' means rebuilding themselves after going through a traumatic experience. Baker adopts a lot of description and imageries of war to portray the mental state of the patients and uses Rivers as an opiate to help the men recover from their traumas. Throughout Regeneration Barker presents Rivers as a fatherly figure as he uses a humane approach when treating his patients, by using psychology rather than shock therapy. ...read more.

Middle

It is through this compassion that the soldiers are able to "regenerate". By the end of the novel Rivers also regenerates this is due to the observations of his patients and his interactions with Sassoon, leading him to question many of the assumptions of war and duty that he previously held. Sassoon also changes as he started feeling guilty for being in Craiglockhart, Sassoon tells Rivers he sees his dead friends knocking at his door and they are shocked to find him there as theirs nothing wrong with him. He realised that the war was never just going to finish no matter how much he wanted it to. In chapter 16, Sassoon tells of how he feels guilty he isn't there for his men and says to Rivers: "They can't understand why I'm here". This shows his true feelings and his realisation that he must go back and fight despite his disagreements with the war as staying in Craiglochart is not making any difference. ...read more.

Conclusion

Barker also presents the novel in a dialogue format which shows soldiers being silenced as they do not have a say about the things that they are going through. The relationship that had the greatest impact on my understanding of the novel was the relationship between Dr.Rivers and Sassoon. This is because Rivers explores the fact that his role in helping the soldiers to express their painful experiences has to be done in a humane approach. Even though Rivers and Sassoon's relationship was challenging in the beginning, it resulted in friendship as they started to reason with each other. Instead of lecturing his Sassoon and ask him a series of questions, Rivers has a conversation with Sassoon so that he can build a trust relationship between them. In chapter two, Rivers is sitting down with Sassoon to have some tea so that he can better understand and evaluate Sassoon's mental stability by having a conversation with Sassoon. It is easier if the experiences of soldiers are discussed with someone that is caring and understanding as they can help them overcome their fears. Word count (873) ...read more.

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