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Regeneration The authorial purpose of Pat Barker and Wilfred Owen is to present the harsh reality of World War 1 and to shock and move us through their portrayals of the horrors at the front and their consequences Discuss Regeneration is deliberately set in a psychiatric hospital Craiglockhart and this location highlights some of the major issues of war Pat Barkers intention in terms of location is obviously because this emphasises some of the key elements of WW1 she wishes to explore such as the mental trauma that the trenches caused the often suicidal battle plans of those in charge of the conflict plus other issues of hierarchical command From the very beginning the experiences of the patients provide a disturbing insight into the effects of war on the soldiers Within this hospital which should be the soldiers sanctuary their haven we are shocked and moved by Barkers portrayal of events as we realise that the men are seen as unmanly and degenerate for being in hospital Barker uses the central character of senior psychiatrist Rivers through his therapy with the patients to highlight their war experiences and the horrific effects of those on them She employs a mix of fictional and historical characters for example Rivers and the Poets Sassoon and Owen who suffering from shell shock were at Craiglockhart in 1916 Barker in her research for the novel has clearly immersed herself in the writings of the World War 1 poets the greatest of whom is undoubtedly Owen His poems shock and move us even nearly a century later through their graphic imagery realism and appeals to the senses that almost bombard us Barker is equally adept at using powerful description and symbolism In my view one of the most disturbing scenes in Regeneration is where we are forced to witness the horrors that soldiers in a different psychiatric hospital who have Yealland to treat them instead of Rivers
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