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Discuss the role of Prior.

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Introduction

Sarah Leighton Discuss the role of Prior. Prior is a fictitious character who Barker uses to voice her ideas of class difference on the front. Prior is a twenty-two year old man who grew up in a working class family and was among few men of his class to get promoted and become an officer, so being 'neither fish nor fowl' the reader is able to understand the class differences through his experiences.. He is introduced as suffering from mutism and memory loss when arriving at Craiglockhart, as a result of his breakdown. Rivers discusses the peculiarity of an officer suffering from mutism, which is a physical symptom commonly found in private soldiers along with 'paralysis, blindness, deafness', explaining that stammering is much more frequent in officers. ...read more.

Middle

All he remembered was that two of his men were killed and that maybe he had been responsible for it. 'I couldn't see what else I'd need to forget.' His acknowledgement of his memories after finding out, through hypnosis, that he had cleaned up the two men's bodies from the trench after a shell had hit consisted of 'Is that all?...I've cleaned up dozens of trenches.' The experience of finding a dead mans prominent blue eyeball on the floor is in anyone else's opinion a stressful one, but Prior does not understand why this particular incident was his breaking point. Something inside him wanted it to be 'the worst thing' of having caused the deaths of his own men, as this is the only way he could accept his breakdown. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is also teamed with the conflict of knowing the futility of the war and the idea that when you put on the uniform you sign a contract. Prior is also present to give first hand accounts of the hostility and that class determines how 'welcome' you are on the front. This ranges from being able to ride a horse bare back with your hands behind your head to your shirts being the right shade of khaki, of which Prior's are nowhere near 'borderline'. 'And all. That. Rubbish.' By splitting the words into short, punchy syllables Barker accentuates the passion that Prior feels for the topic. The words stand out individually to give more impact as a statement rather than a comment. Barker often uses techniques like this in Prior's speeches, along with the short temper she created him with, to underline and intensify the points that he makes. ...read more.

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