Regeneration - The Horror of Pity and War
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Regeneration - The Horror of Pity and War Through reading 'Regeneration' by Pat Barker and Wilfred Owen's collection of poems, we see both writers present the horror and pity of World War ? in an effective way. 'Regeneration' shows us a personal account of shell-shocked officer's experience in the war. This links with Wilfred Owen's poems as they too show how war affects the soldiers. Even though 'Regeneration' (a prose piece) and Wilfred Owen's poems (poetry) are similar, they both present different styles as they are written at different times, a male and female perspective and in different literacy forms. Barker has a much more objective view of the war, as she hasn't actually experienced it first hand in term of being a soldier and she is removed in time. However, even though she didn't take part in he war, it was very much a part of her life, which qualifies her to write about the horror and pity of the war. Pat Barker explains in her interview () that her step father and grand father were a part of the war, which effected her as she talks about seeing the war wounds on her grand father's shoulder and how her step father was gassed and later he died of bronchitis. The writers use different styles to allow the reader to understand the war because one is a poet who was actually there and the other an author who wrote much later. For the most part the reader views see things through the eyes of William H.
I mean the truth untold, the pity of war, the pity was distilled' (Lines 22-25) Not only doesn't it show a more personal account but its also the core of Owen's poetry, as 'distilled' represents the pure essence without any emotional by products. In contrast to this Barker uses a different perspective, as her views on the soldier's experiences are unbiased as many characters in the novel experience different happenings and have different opinions. In Wilfred Owen's collection of poems we see a graphic description of the war causing him to suffer from the war for example; in 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' we see the war through the eyes of a soldier and the tales of the descriptive battlefield. 'What passing- bells for those who die as cattle? - Only the monstrous anger of the guns' (Lines 1-2) This describes the soldiers as machines as they are almost sub human. This also links with 'Regeneration' when Sarah Lumb goes to Craiglockhart and sees the suffering of the soldiers. For example: "One man had lost all his limbs, and his face was so drained, so pale, he seemed to have left his blood in France as well" (Chapter 14, page 160) Not only does Wilfred Owen show us surrounding of the war but also the fear of the soldiers. The language that Barker and Owen employ empathises the horror and pity of the war through the use of realism. Barker uses irony throughout the novel to heighten the horror and tragedy of the war, which she does this through the description of the war.
(Lines 7-10) However Barker shows a contrast to this theme as we see in Sassoon's character as he discovers in chapter 18, that he wants to go back to serve in the war, as by him staying only shows him as a coward, which shows the complete opposite of patriotism. Wilfred Owen shows a sense of false bravery in his poem, which is mainly highlighted in the poem 'Send Off', for example: 'Dawn the close, darkening lanes they sang their way to the siding-shed, and lined the train with faces grimly gay' (Lines 1-3) This shows even though many soldiers believed strongly in patriotism, many were scared of the idea of death and dying for your country, which links to his poem 'Dulce et Decorum Est'. Both the novel and Wilfred Owen's poem link especially in 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' as both Sassoon and Wilfred Owen worked together, through this we see join of the two texts. Wilfred Owen also features in 'Regeneration' as a patient in Craiglockhart hospital as he was an historic fact. Pat Barker includes him in it not to change facts, but to find a creative way around it. Barker joins both fiction and facts in her novel, which we can see when Sassoon and Owen work on the poem together. Both writers show the horror and pity of the war and they views on the damaging effects in an effective way through the use of language, style and perspectives of the war, showing us the readers and how it affected the soldiers physically and mentally.
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