Examine and compare the ways in which Pat Barker in Regeneration and Essay

Examine and compare the ways in which Pat Barker in Regeneration and Essay

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Examine and compare the ways in which Pat Barker in Regeneration and
Wilfred Owen in his poetry explore the nature of life in the trenches.

Pat Barker and Wilfred Owen are both successful writers in delivering
an insight into trench life from the perspective of a soldier,
although in different ways. Owen, being a soldier himself, has had
first hand experience of trench life and describes the pity of war, in
that war is a waste of young, innocent lives, and the bitterness of
the soldiers towards the people who do not have to fight. Whereas
Barker recreates trench life through the nightmares, hallucinations
and memories of the soldiers. Despite the fact that Barker is a modern
woman writer she still manages to write a realistic view of the
effects of war on soldiers. We forget that she would have had to do
extensive research to get her information so detailed, especially as
she combines real characters such as Graves and Sassoon, with her
fictional creations. There are several themes explored in the work of
both writers, the force of nature and the dangers in the trenches,
explored in "Exposure." The hatred and bitterness towards shirkers
explored in "The Dead Beat." The torment and terrible conditions that
the soldiers had to put up with, in "Dulce Et Decorum Est," and how
the soldiers began to think that it would be easier to end their lives
in war than to live through another day of horror, explored in
"Aterre."

The title "Exposure" says enough about the dangers in the trenches,
the risk of death and exposure to the enemy and exposure the natural
elements. Owen describes the intensity of the "merciless iced east
winds" that cut through the soldiers like a knife. Creating a vicious
imagery of trench c...


... middle of paper ...


...his poem "Wild with All Regrets" Owen describes how "here in this
coffin of a bed," his regret is that after so much time being trapped
in the trenches with so much time to just sit and think, it is only
now that he appreciates life and how important it is. The comparison
with "Regeneration" is that Prior, Sassoon and the others are still
trapped and still have hours to think of what it is they have and are
missing by being locked up in Craiglockhart.

The work of both Barker and Owen captures the realism of what these
soldiers actually went through, without actually trying to sugarcoat
it for the audience back at home. We are able to understand a little
better why the soldiers got so close in war and why they hated the
civilians so much. I can say that after reading "Regeneration" and
Wilfred Owens work I will never think about war in the same way again.

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