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To what extent do you agree that in Regeneration Barker questions the notion of Heroism in wartime?

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Introduction

To what extent do you agree that in Regeneration Barker question the notion of Heroism in wartime? Courage is generic, denoting fearlessness or defiance of danger; fortitude is passive courage, the habit of bearing up nobly under trials, danger, and sufferings; bravery is courage displayed in daring acts; valor is courage in battle or other conflicts with living opponents; intrepidity is firm courage, which shrinks not amid the most appalling dangers; gallantry is adventurous courage, dashing into the thickest of the fight. Heroism may call into exercise all these modifications of courage. It is a contempt of danger, not from ignorance or inconsiderate levity, but from a noble devotion to some great cause, and a just confidence of being able to meet danger in the spirit of such a cause. There are many different ways in which to show heroism, yet in this context there are only two, the first is contemporary society's definition of heroism, being that of someone who shows selfless bravery and valour in war and facing personal peril and death for the sake of their country. The second is Barkers idea of heroism, the idea of someone overcoming their own personal battles and facing their own demons. ...read more.

Middle

who are scared by the powerlessness of their situation, and despite their original ideas of going out to war, saving their country and becoming a hero they are faced with the shocking realities of war. Now after having done the manly thing and enlisted they must now face society's reaction after having suffered an unmanly breakdown. Here Barker is really demonstrating the true struggles that young, naive men faced when they went to war and the precarious situation that they are in. And then when arriving at the hospital River's method of treatment involves more oetensibly unmanly and unheroic actions as the patients are forced to reveal their emotions and show their feelings, and once again this is another thing that society frowned upon as men were to be brave and not show their emotions as being emotional was seen as womanly. Many of the characters are resistant to this treatment due to this, for example Prior who refuses to talk about how he feels but like the idea of hynosis as it means that he is not openly admitting feeling, and yet when he does talk to Rivers about what happened to him in chapter 8 he shows no emotion, and Rivers notices this: ".... ...read more.

Conclusion

the Military Cross for saving life at the risk of his own, in his own right in the eyes os society he is a perfect example of heroism, yet what Barker asks is it this action that makes him a hero or did it take greater courage to turn away from conformity and speak out for his own beliefs even at the peril of losing everything he love? For does this not make him a bigger hero? And yet Sassoon spends most of the novel fighting a personal battle torn between going back to his friends and comerades and being societys hero again or sticking to his beliefs no matter how pointless the end may seem. As a final point the second definition of a hero is as the principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation. In which case Barker could easily make Sasson her hero which again brings in to the spotlight which of his actions make him so, in society's mind, Barker's mind and of course our own? Was it what he did during the war and the battles he won or was it the choice he made that may have cost him everything and may have seemed pointless just for the sake of his beliefs? ...read more.

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