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Regeneration By Pat Barker Analysis English Literature Essay

The story takes in the past. The entire story is in 1917. You can know that because it is during the First World War. In the beginning Rivers is reading a poem of Sassoon from July 1917 and in the end he wrote a date on a file of Sassoon which said: Nov. 26, 1917.

In total I think the story takes a couple of months. In the beginning of the story Rivers reads a poem of Sassoon what is written in July 1917. So it will be in July or later. The story ends at November 1917 because that is what Rivers writes down on Sassoon’s files. So in total it will probably take a couple of months

“S. Sassoon July 1917”

“He drew the final page towards him and wrote: Nov. 26, 1917. Discharged to duty.”

The story takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland. Nearly always at Craiglockhart. Craiglockhart is a mental hospital. It’s a standard, boring hospital with long hallways. On every room there sleep two patients and there is door of a patients room that has a lock except the one of Sassoon. Not even the shower. The town itself is hardly described. The only things they talk about are the restaurants and pubs in a street.

“This is you room. You’re lucky; it’s the only one which has a lock.”

Plot

Sassoon is against the war and is being send to Rivers ‘to cure’ him. They talk about the war and why Sassoon doesn’t want the war to continue. Sassoon wants to go back to the war to help his friends when he is ‘cured’. At the end he is inspected and declared fit and goes back to the front.

Characters

Siegfried Sassoon, Dr. W.H.R. Rivers, Billy Prior

As reader, you follow Sassoon the most. Sassoon’s father left him when he was a child. He is against the continual of the war and writes poems about it. He was a very good soldier and he’s being loved by his men. He’s been diagnosed as ‘Shell-shocked’. River is his doctor at Craiglockhart. Although he is against the war, he still wants to fight because he does not want to leave his friend behind.

River is a doctor at Craiglockhart. His patients never have any physical problems, but always mental problems. By talking with his patients he’s trying to find out why they are ill and he tries to help them recovering from it. Sassoon is a special case because he is not really ill. He’s just against the war, but they thought he was shell-shocked.

Prior is a lieutenant in the military. He’s been send to Craiglockhart because he ‘couldn’t’ speak. He also suffers from asthma. Prior is difficult patient for Rivers because he doesn’t want to talk about his memories of the war. He falls

in love with Sarah, a girl who works in a munitions factory.

They are main characters because these are the people who you constantly follow during the book.

Sassoon: “ ‘Sassoon’s the best platoon commander I’ve ever known. The men worship him – if he wanted German heads on a platter they’d get them. And he loves them. Being separated from them would kill him.’ ”

Rivers: “ One of the nice things about serving afternoon tea to newly arrived patients was that it made so many neurological tests redundant. ”

Prior: “ Prior reached for the notepad and pencil he kept beside his bed and scrawled in block capitals, ‘I DON’T REMEMBER.’ ‘Nothing at all?’ Prior hesitated, then wrote, ‘NO.’ ”

Wilfred Owen, Anderson, Sarah Lumb, Dr. Lewis Yealland, Callan, Robert Graves

Message

As reader of the book you can learn what the effect of a war can haven on people. That it doesn’t only gives a lot of casualties and wounded people, but also lots of men who get a nervous breakdown because of the things they’ve seen and experienced.

I think the writer wrote this story to let the people see and know what a tremendous impact war can have on people. Because war is not only about brave men fighting, but also about young men who die and get crazy because of what they’ve seen.

The message is conveyed to you through the patients. Every patient has a different ‘disease’, but all of them are caused by the war. Throughout the book you discover the reasons why they are ill and those reasons are arguments of why the war should not continue.

“After being thrown into the air and landing head first in the ruptured stomach of a rotting dead soldier by a shell, which causes him to vomit whenever he eats anything.”

B: YOUR OPINION

I think Rivers and Sassoon are sympathetic.

Rivers is sympathetic because he helps all the patients. He could also say: bye, I’m not going to help you. Especially mental patients, because they require a lot of attention and time to cure them.

Sassoon is sympathetic because he loved him man at the front and they loved him. He was a good leader and bomber.

“ I want to help you, I really do. But in order to do so, you’ve got to corporate. ”

“‘Sassoon’s the best platoon commander I’ve ever known. The men worship him – if he wanted German heads on a platter they’d get them. And he loves them. Being separated from them would kill him.’ ”

I disliked Dr. Yealland.

I disliked him because he uses shock therapy to his patients and he even pushes lighted cigarettes to their tongues.

“ The patient had been strapped to a chair for periods of twenty minutes at a time, and very strong electric current applied to his neck and throat. Hot plates had been applied repeatedly to his neck and throat, and lighted cigarettes to the tongue. ”

Sadness and anger.

I felt sad when I read about Burns who landed into the stomach of a dead soldier and the stories of the other patients.

I was angry when I read about the methods Dr. Yealland used to ‘cure’ his patients.

“After being thrown into the air and landing head first in the ruptured stomach of a rotting dead soldier by a shell, which causes him to vomit whenever he eats anything.”

“ The patient had been strapped to a chair for periods of twenty minutes at a time, and very strong electric current applied to his neck and throat. Hot plates had been applied repeatedly to his neck and throat, and lighted cigarettes to the tongue. ”

“ Then the electrode was applied to the back of his throat. He was thrown back with such force that the leads were ripped out of the battery. Yealland removed the electrode. ‘Remember you must behave as becomes the hero I expect you to be,’ Yealland said. ‘A man who has been through so many battles should have a better control of himself.’ He fastened the straps rounds Callan’s wrists and feet. ‘Remember you must talk before you leave me.’ ”

Dr. Yealland is trying to ‘cure’ Callan. Callan is similar to Prior. He ‘can’t’ speak anymore. Through electro-shock therapy he’s trying to let him talk again. He’s willing to go on as long as needed. At the end Dr. Yealland manages to let Callan speak again.

I think this is the best part of the book because it’s nearly the only part in the book where something really happens. Nearly everything that happens in the book is people talking with each other. This part has the most action of the entire book. I do not really to read about people talking with each other, I want action.

Yes. The write succeeded to convey a message to me. I now realize how bad wars can be for those who fight in it and what the effects can be.

The writer makes the message clear by showing all the patients who suffer from the war, which got traumas because of it. It shows you what the effects are.

Yes. The message is very important. People must realize how horrible wars are so that we do anything to prevent them. A war will not only kill people physically, but also mentally.

Have you ever had any mental problems because of the war?

Have you been a doctor who worked with patients who have had mental problems?

Why did you wrote the book?

I would like to know the answers to these questions because I’m curious why he wrote the book and how he got his inspiration, his stories of the patients.

C: THE SUMMARY

Part I 2 hours

Sassoon is against the war. He wants it to stop. Because of that, the military authority has labeled him as “shell-shocked”. Rivers is a doctor at Craiglockhart. It is a mental institute. Rivers has his doubts about Sassoon coming to Craiglockhart, because he thinks Sassoon is not shell-shocked.

Robert Graves is a friend of Sassoon. He thinks Sassoon should stop protesting against the continual of the war, because he can’t stop it. Even though he has the same opinion as Sassoon about it. Sassoon wanted to get a court-martial, because then his opinions would in the publicity. But Graves manages to get Sassoon to Craiglockhart instead.

When Sassoon meets Rivers they start talking. Rivers finds out that religion is not the reason why Sassoon isn’t fighting. He has nothing against fighting. Sassoon has problems with the idea that while others are dying at the front, he is safe at Craiglockhart.

At Craiglockhart there is also another patient, Prior. He’s not able to speak, but not physically. He communicates with Rivers via a notepad. After a while he manages to get River talking again, but he still doesn’t want to talk about what happened in France.

Part II 2.5 hours

At Craiglockhart Sassoon meets Owen. Just like Sassoon he also writes poetry. He asks if Sassoon could sign some of his poems. When Sassoon finds out he’s also writing poetry he asks to read his poems.

Prior, another patient at Craiglockhart goes to Edinburg. There he meets a girl called Sarah. They start walking and at a graveyard they nearly have sex, but at the last minute she pushes him away.

Because Prior wasn’t at Craiglockhart during the night he was “grounded” for two weeks. Rivers wants to try hypnosis on Prior to retrieve some memories. It works a little bit, because he remembered how two soldiers in his platoon died.

There arrives a new patient at Craiglockhart. Willard. He was injured to the spine while he was under heavy fire at a graveyard. He keeps telling that he can’t walk because of pain in the spine, while there is nothing that causes it anymore.

Sassoon and Owen start talking in Sassoon’s room. Sassoon gives Owen some poems to publish into the hospital’s magazine. In exchange for that, Sassoon will mentor Owen on his poetry.

Prior meets Sarah again in Edinburg. They take the train to the sea. They talk with each other about the war and what his function was in it. Suddenly a storm comes up and they have to take shelter into a bush. There they also have sex.

Rivers is ordered to take a three week holiday because he is so exhausted from work.

Part III 2 hours

At Craiglockhart Sassoon helps Owen with his poem: “Anthem for doomed Youth”

Sarah and her friend Madge got to a hospital to look up Madge’s fiancé, who is wounded. Sarah decides to walk around alone in the hospital and find a tent where are soldiers who are missing limbs. She is angry, because they hide these people away.

Prior is being examined by a doctor. He is afraid that they will think he is faking his illness, so that he will be sent back to war.

River is meeting some old friends. They are discussing about Sassoon. Rivers realize that Sassoon is free to think about the war he wants, but that it is his job to get Sassoon back to war. At the end, Rivers got offered a top job in London. Although it’s good for his career, he is not sure if he wants to take it.

Burns is an ex-patient of Craiglockhart. He invites rivers to come to his house at the sea for a couple of days. Rivers expected that burns wanted to talk about the war, but Burns hadn’t said a thing about it. At a night, there is a heavy storm. Burns walks outside and goes into a cave that floods a high tide. Rivers finds him there suffering from flashbacks of the war in France. When they’re safe home, Burns tells everything to Rivers about the war.

Once back at Craiglockhart Rivers meets Bryce and tells him that he is going to take the job in London. Rivers has an appointment with Sassoon. Sassoon tells him that he sees hallucinations of dead friends. Sassoon feels guilty that he is not helping his friends at the front, so he decides that he should return to the front.

Part IV 2.5 hours

Sarah has told her mother about Prior. She is angry at her because she had sex so soon. She also doesn’t believe in true love.

Sassoon talks with his friend Graves. Graves thinks that Sassoon should not go back to war and that he must maintain his word. He also tells Sassoon that a friend called Peter has been arrested for prostitution. The military now sends Peter to Rivers to cure him because they think he is homosexual.

Sarah works at a munitions factory. They talk about the war and Sarah asks why a girl called Betty is not at work. Lizzie tells her that she is in the hospital because she tried a home abortion using a coat-hanger.

Rivers talks with Sassoon. In a while, Sassoon will be send back to France. They discuss about homosexuality and that especially during war the authority is hard against homosexuality because it does not benefit the soldiers.

The medical board is reviewing a couple of patients at Craiglockhart to decide whether or not they are able to go back to war. Prior is send home and gets permanent home service because he has asthma. He doesn’t like it because he thinks that the people will see him a coward and that he cannot find out what type of soldier he would be. Sassoon is tired of all the waiting before it’s his turn to meet the board, so he decides to leave and have some dinner with a friend. River is angry at Sassoon. Sassoon apologizes and tells River that he still wants to go to France.

When Rivers is at his new job in London he meets his colleague Dr. Yealland. Dr. Yealland works very differently than Rivers does. He uses electro-shock therapy to cure his patients. When Rivers joins one of Dr. Yealland’s treatments he is shocked by his methods and doubts whether he can work with him.

Sassoon is send back to war and River is thinking about the effect Sassoon and last few months have had on him.

I did not really had any expectations while reading. There was also not much to expect I think. They talk and that’s it. There’s nothing that’s going to happen of that someone is going to do something. The end ended as I expected it. Sassoon got back to war. But that is also what he always wanted and said he was going to do. I don’t think there should be a different ending.

I did not really liked the book. I prefer books with action in it. This book has nearly no action at all. Lots of dialogues and sometimes difficult language. In my opinion there were also no reasons to keep on reading. I can understand why there would be reasons for other people, but not for me. For me there were no things that I really wanted to know, so that I had to keep on reading. In overall I think it wasn’t a bad book, but I also did not enjoyed reading it. I prefer different types of books.

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