Historical figures and fictional characters in Regeneration

How human beings presented in Regeneration are different from historical characters ? Paradoxically, several characters had real historical existence and yet, there is no difference between those who really existed and those invented: it seems that they are on the same level. The major difference lays in characterization, i.e. the ways in which human beings are constructed in characters. In history books, the stress is usually on public life whereas in fictions the stress is on subjectivity. Regeneration is a […]

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First dialogue between Rivers and Sassoon in Regeneration

Study of the passage p11-12: from "What kind of questions did they ask.." to "with quite a bit of his leg left inside". This is the first real dialogue between Rivers and Sassoon. Sassoon is presented as shell-shocked. This passage is composed of a dialogue and 12 lines of narrative. Most of the narrative comments describe Sassoon's behaviour. I. Dialogue and verisimilitude Dialogue enhances verisimilitude. Rivers is a psychiatrist and Sassoon is the patient. It is a normal professional situation. […]

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The plot in Regeneration by Pat Barker

Is Regeneration a novel with a plot ? It is not as obvious as in a detective story. I. Sassoon's transformation Must be seen in the changes that occurred between the beginning and the end of the novel. At the beginning, Sassoon has just protested against fighting the war. At the end, something has changed: "no, I want to go back" (p.213). He has stopped his protest and has made the decision to go back to the front.He hesitates between […]

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The setting in Regeneration by Pat Barker

An hostile nature Use of an adjective of color (yellow) The sun and the light are described as yellow, which is a warm color not normally applied to natural light. p.175, l.2: "fading to yellow".Yellow not presented as a bright color, paradox. p.128: "yellowing of the light", "sulfurous".Attribute of Lucifer, negative connotation. p.199: "like an artificial sunset".The natural light of the sun has gone.Yellow is linked to the war. Yellow is associated with light, with Sarah's skin (because of the […]

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English Literature

Narratives The Short-Story and the Novel Relatives in Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad : "A free and wandering tale" Lord Jim : How is Conrad's first-hand experience of seamanship perceptible throughout the Patna episode ? Macbeth by Shakespeare Introduction to Macbeth Political questions in Macbeth The dramatic quality in Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare Introduction to A Midsummer Night's Dream Background of A Midsummer Night's Dream Structure […]

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Introduction to Regeneration by Pat Barker

Introduction to Regeneration by Pat Barker photo

Regeneration has to do with World War One (WW1) and it is visible right from its cover. The novelist, Pat Barker is one of the first women writers who have written about the Great War. Pat Barker is a university-trained historian and this is confirmed by the presence of very reliable sources in the "Author's Notes", at the end of the novel. Regeneration is a historical novel on the surface but is really more than that. I. Historical accuracy Several […]

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War Poet : Wilfried Owen

Biography Wilfried Owen was born in the West of England and educated in a technical college. He left England in 1913 to teach English in Bordeaux (France) and came back in 1915 to enlist. He was soon commissioned and injured in March 1917. He was sent to Craiglockheart where he met Wilfried Sassoon. Returned to the Front in 1918 and was killed one week before the end of the war. Owen found his own voice in the trenches, although he […]

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War Poet : Edward Thomas

Biography Edward Thomas was educated at Oxford University where he studied history. He was known as a critic and as an essayist. He wrote a lot (mainly reviews) but did not get much money. Thomas started writing poetry in 1913 when he met Robert Frost, who encouraged him to write verse. December 1914 saw his first poems. Thomas was 37, married and with family when he enlisted in 1915 because of social pressure. He died on Easter Day 1917, without […]

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War Poet : Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

Biography Brooke's poems were very famous and influential. His War Sonnets, published in 1915, caught very well the mood of the time. He was born in 1887 in a very wealthy family and was educated at Rugby School and at King's college, Cambridge. He was said to be strikingly handsome and the unfair reasons why he was considered a popular war poet was because of both his 5 poems dealing with war and his appearance. In fact, Brooke's experience of […]

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World War One poetry : a problematic issue

Introduction War poetry is not a school of poetry in itself but it played a tremendous part since it inspired a new birth of inspiration. It was a totally new experience: nothing like that before in poetry, no war like WW1 before. War had already been a subject for poetry but never with such feelings. In English consciousness, in 1914, war was fought by processionals away from home and many people thought it glamorous. Before 1914, war poems would have […]

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Richard III : Order and Disorder, the Elizabethan problem

It is very often an issue in Shakespeare's plays. It deals with order and degree: each thing in the Universe has a place in a scale of things. It is more than a political doctrine: it implies a metaphysical organization of the Universe, which is also linked with theology. We can"t find an exponent of this doctrine, it is everywhere at the back of people's minds. It is a world picture in the collective unconscious consciousness. Disorder is the equivalent […]

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Richard III : the ambiguity of Richard's evil

I. The Vice Was the favourite character in medieval morality plays. He is both an intriguer and a deceiver. He creates laughter and engages the audience's sympathy in a conspirational relationship. Richard generates a special relation between word and deed. He tells the audience what he is going to do, then does it and finally recalls what he did: his soliloquies and asides create a feeling of conspiracy. The Vice was also a figure of carnival, who fights the established […]

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