Landscape and mindscape in Regeneration

Study of a passage p.37-38: "he got off at the next stop [...] whine of shells". This passage is not a dialogue. The narrator is telling us about Burns. Presence of realistic elements: stress on concrete details ("a tuft of grey wool"). Use of chronological order + realistic framework. Everything is seen through Burns's subjectivity: he is the central focalizer and we move from an objective description of landscape to a subjective mindscape. I - Presence of subjectivity A - […]

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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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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 : 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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