Regeneration notes AS level English Literature

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
World War I was a war of new technology. There were machine guns, gas bombs, and trenches.
Because of this new technology, World War I was also a war filled with atrocities. The men fighting in
the war experienced horrors that no human being should have ever experienced. The novel
Regeneration by Pat Barker addresses the question of how these soldiers were supposed to recover
from these horrors.
-A Soldier's Declaration:
a) concentrates on the purpose of the war, which Sassoon believes has changed since it began in 1914
from a war of "defence and liberation" to one of "aggression and conquest"- emphasizes the
contradictory nature of the war.
b) Sassoon believes that there is suffering and that "men are being sacrificed." He uses more formal
language in the declaration because it makes his argument sound more believable and sincere,
moreover, the people with influence would take him more seriously if writes in a middle-class
manner because they would relate to it and would not look down on it.
c) A Soldier's Declaration," with which Pat Barker decides to begin her novel, Regeneration Sassoon
writes, "I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this war, upon
which I entered as a war of defiance and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and
conquest" . This segment is only a mere part of Sassoon's powerful claim for the justice of British
soldiers. By beginning her novel with Sassoon's written protest, Barker foreshadows her theme of
the power of writing, and how the written word can externalize trapped emotions.
d) blames Home Front for `' they have not sufficient imagination to realize'' what those men are going
- Sassoon displays loyalty to men, and criticizes the government
- Barker starts her fictionalized novel with authentic letter- probably to draw the attention of the reader
for the focus of her novel
- Sassoon is a soldier that British Army needs- he won an MC for bravery but threw it away- so they cannot
allow themselves to have Sassoon telling things like in Declaration in the public- against propaganda !
-corruption- covering Sassoon by diagnosing him with `'shell-shock''- neurasthenia
-`'FUNK'': coward
- `' `conchies' as well as cowards, shirkers, scrimshankers and degenerates''- names for those with
shell- shock
-Graves- Sassoon's friend- opposes him: he agrees with Sassoon that this is a mass slaughter in which all
men are suffering, but can't understand Sassoon point to publish his thought- perhaps because he thinks
no one who did not experienced war cannot understand it? Or just he prefer to endure it rather to be
latter called a coward who did not want to fight for his country ?
`' You think exactly as I do about the war, and you do...nothing.''
-Graves tells Sassoon he won't be court martialled - because of Graves' `'string-pulling''- a sign of their
friendship ?
- when Sassoon opposed the idea of closing him in Craiglockhart as t `'doesn't prove [him] insane'' Graves

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
reveals that he told the Board about his hallucinations ­ `'The corpses in Piccadilly'' ­ reality of war/
mental, spiritual, physical consequences of war
-reasons for Sassoon getting a MC : `'For conspicuous gallantry during a raid on the enemy's trenches''
- `'freedom of the individual conscience in wartime''- being able to see through propaganda- reality of
-appearance of Sassoon
Pg.…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
importance of individual word conveying authors true feelings eg. `tiny torch' was changed into `prying
-`'Everything about the poem suggested that Sassoon's attitude to his war experience had been the
opposite of what one normally encountered''- everyone experience the war differently
Pg.…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
Pg 36
- Sassoon joined on the first day and he says his pre war attitude before he experienced it all was : `'I
couldn't wait to get in''- he was as the rest of the society he despises now, was ignorant on how true war
looks like
- Effect of war n Sassoon: `'Isolation, I suppose.…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
only at the cost of redefining what it meant to be a man''
-`' His patients might be encouraged to acknowledge their fears, their horror of war-but they were still
expected to do their duty and return to France'
Pg 49
-Prior:`'A northern accent, not ungrammatical''- proper English but without usual accent-posh accent
-`' Hearing Prior's voice for the first time had the curious effect of making him look different.…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
Pg 57
-Prior's father is skeptical about his son's mental damage- `'He'd get a damn sight more sympathy from
me if he had a bullet up his arse''
Pg 60-62
-vulnerability: Prior not going into the room where the men watch a film, because of the smoke
- `'knuckles where his left had gripped''- genuinely in distress
- Barkers soothes Prior's character
- `'Once you knew it was obvious''- Prior is asthmatic `'They couldn't afford to be fussy''
-…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
having been in trenches, the falsity of such patriotic sentiment has been exposed.…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
- Owen admits he agrees with Sassoon's declaration
Pg 82
-`'The evolution of a point of view''- Sassoon means the change in attitude towards the war, from
protecting country, glorious etc to its reality
Pg 83
-superstitious side of faith
`' Whenever he saw an undamaged crucifix, he used it for target practice''- real account
- `'When you're alone, in the trenches, I mean, at night you get the sense of something ancient.…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
Fifty bob a week' `'
`'Too bloody right it is.…read more

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Notes on Regeneration by Pat Barker
- getting up before it's morning
`' a smell of bacon frying''- homely smell
-`' It must have been Logan's cry, for nothing in that devastation could have had a voice''
-randomness of death- abliterated, how easily thy could be killed
-`' Prior shifted his position on the duckboards, glanced down, and found himself staring into an eye''
-`' He ran his tongue along the edges of his teeth, curved it back, stroked the ridges palate, flexed his lips,…read more


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