Aborted Aspirations in Pat Barker's Regeneration

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Aborted Aspirations in Pat Barker's Regeneration Pat Barker's riveting World War I novel Regeneration brilliantly exemplifies the effectiveness of fiction united with historical facts. While men aspired to gain glory from war and become heroes, Regeneration poignantly points out that not all of war was glorious. Rather, young soldiers found their aspirations prematurely aborted due to their bitter war experiences. The horrible mental and physical sicknesses, which plagued a number of soldiers, caused many men to withdraw from the battlefield. Feelings of guilt and shame haunted many soldiers as they found themselves removed from the heat of war. Men, however, were not the only individuals to experience such feelings during a time of historical upheaval. Women, too, found themselves at war at the dawn of a feminine revolution. One of the most contentious topics of the time was the practice of abortion, which comes to attention in chapter 17 on pages 202 and 203 of Barker's novel. Through Baker's ground-breaking novel, we learn how men and women alike discovered that in life, not all aspirations are realized; in fact, in times of conflict, women and men both face desperate situations, which have no definite solutions. Illustrated in Barker's novel by a young woman named Betty, and many broken soldiers, society's harsh judgments worsen the difficult circumstances already at hand. As men engaged in war overseas, women gained many opportunities in their every day life. New employment opportunities became attainable to women. In women's health, many new medical practices were conventionalized as well. One of the most pivotal medical advancements of the time was the commercialization of birth control ("Marie Stopes"). However, n... ... middle of paper ... ...omen did or did not abort their unborn child varied, it can be inferred that social disgrace would result from whatever choice was made. The decisions we make today, can create life-long repercussions. Regeneration poignantly points out that not all is fair in war, or life. Works Cited "Abortion: In Law, History & Religion." Childbirth By Choice Trust. May 1995. 26 April 2004. Barker, Pat. Regeneration. New York: Plume, 2003. Horden, Anthony. Legal Abortion: The English Experience. New York: Pergamon Press, 1971. "Marie Stopes." Spartacus. 7 December 2001. 26 April 2004. Raffel, Brian, Monica Borgone, Michael D'Ambrosio and Rebecca Heydon. "Abortion Around the World." 1999. 30 April 2004.

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