Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sarah M, Kyle, Aimie, Edward (and, for that matter, the others in 13A/El): Your essays so far. Please remember there's nothing wrong with using this site as a forum to share ideas, but your essay shouldreflect your own personal response and judgements- there's a difference between getting ideas and copying each other. You'll also find these essays as comments on the posted model essay.

Aimie B

Pat Barker’s novel Regeneration is set in the war hospital for psychiatric trauma, Craiglockhart, just outside of Edinburgh. Barker uses fictional and fictionalized characters throughout Regeneration with one of the main characters being W.H.R Rivers, historically one of the hospital’s doctors. Barker uses her characters, be they fictional or fictionalized, to illustrate the psychological consequences of The Great War on a range of soldiers and civilians from different social classes and varieties of background. Barker took a fresh new approach to writing a war novel in this sense as she doesn’t focus on the battlefield itself, as many war novel authors choose to do. Expand this: why does Barker chose to base her work on the consequences of the battlefield rather than the battlefield itself? Relate it to her purposes as an author- her interest in writing believable male characters, her focus on social history and the larger consequences of war on society.

As Barker has so many vivid characters her choice to narrate in the third person is a wise one. She makes Regeneration a polyphonic novel through the use of free indirect style, which allows her to have more then one voice and to drop into all the consciousness of many of her characters, making them psychologically transparent. This gives the novel more depth and movement, as Barker is not restricting her novel to one perspective. Regeneration was written as proof to Barker’s critics that she could write about men in a male environment as she it was something she had never done before, and the other reason was purely for entertainment. More than that- see my comment above. Also, you need to get the idea of the balance between the novel as a a reflection on the social consequences of war- which tends to favour multiple characters and therefore a third person narrator- and its psychological consequences, which tends to favour a first person voice, and how she manages to compromise between these two.
In contrast with Barker’s historical perspective, writing as she did with a modern sensibility about the war and almost 80 years after the events took place, Siegfried Sassoon was writing contemporaneously with The Great War. You need to mention here that Sassoon, and his poetry and Declaration, are actually features in the narrative of Regeneration. There are many contrasts between Barker and Sassoon with the main one being that Barker wrote a novel and Sassoon wrote a collection of poetry Give an idea of how this difference in literary type is important: Sassoon’s poetry is often brief, punchy, powerful- he exploits the ability of poetry to present a single voice with emotive power through the careful manipulation of language. Compare this with the exploratory, polyphonic, more discursive tendencies of a long prose narrative. The purpose of Sassoon’s poetry was partly to make a political point as he became strongly opposed to the war. He also wanted to show civilians back at home what the war was really like for the soldiers involved. Quote the Declaration here and illustrate how, in some ways, it is a starting point for both Sassoon’s voice and Barker’s collection of many voices. At the home front, there would have been almost a picture perfect image of the British troops fighting hard and defeating the Germans. Sassoon wanted to show that it was bloody and ruthless and that manly young men died needlessly. His poetry is emotive as he was writing from first hand experience more or less at the time it was happening, unlike Barker whose text is the product of research and literary imagination, rather than of recollection and literary imagination.


Good start, Aimie: you’re working at around a B here. You now need to get into quotation and analysis- start with an exploration of how and why Barker uses free indirect style- look at a variety of episodes and how the character’s voices are heard in the narrative space itself, not just in dialogue, and what effect this has.

Sarah May

Pat Barker’s Regeneration is a war novel set in 1917 at Craiglockhart hospital, where those who were directly involved in the war and suffered from neurasthenia were sent for pioneering psychological therapy and treatment. W.H.R Rivers, an army psychologist, and Seigfried Sassoon, a soldier who has been sent to Craiglockhart, are the main characters. You need to discuss the reasons for Sassoon being at Craiglockhart- remember he is as much there for political reasons as medical ones. Not only are fact and fiction entwined in the characters, but their experiences are too. Not sure what you mean by this- do you mean Rivers and Sassoon have an entwined, complex relationship, or that the story is largely told through a combination of their two perspectives?

Regeneration was written in the 1990’s so Barker has a historical perspective and this allows her to reflect on the events and attitudes of her characters with some detachment, allowing her to present the reader with a variety of different viewpoints on the war and its consequences from a variety of different characters. Barker’s main purpose for writing her novel was to give a fresh approach to writing about the war as she takes her readers through the psychological and social consequences of the trenches, rather than describing the action of the battles themselves. The novel presents us with three dimensional, developed characters, fictional and fictionalized, and shows the effects of the war on a variety of people with a variety of civilian and military experiences.
Seigfried Sassoon was an educated, aristocratic trench officer in the war, Compare this with Pat Barker- working class, female, no war experience- how does this influence their writing? Much of his poetry was actually written whilst in trenches or in hospitals: in fact, some of his poems were written during his stay at Craiglockhart in 1917, the setting for Barker’s novel. Sassoon had a number of purposes for his work; he used it as a symbol of protest, to create sympathy for the soldiers and because it was therapeutic: as Rivers notes in Regeneration of the fictionalized Sassoon and his relatively speedy recovery: ‘writing the poems had obviously been therapeutic’ (page 26) His poetry is short, dense, direct, powerful and makes his point very clearly.
In Regeneration, the governing narrative voice is varieties of free indirect style. Free indirect style is a technique of third person narration, which allows the narrator to drop into the characters’ ‘heads’ unannounced. Give an example here just to illustrate how it is done. Barker uses this throughout the novel because if she used purely third person narration the reader would not get the full effect that they do from free indirect style What full effect? Explain what Barker achieves by using FIS. This is because there is a separate narrator and the reader isn’t presented with the character’s thoughts and opinions. You mean without FIS the nly voice we hear is the narrator’s, perhaps even the author’s- remember , Barker’s own voice isn’t entirely ‘silent’- she favours some character over others, which gives us an idea of her prejudices and opinions. If she had used first person narration the character’s viewpoint would always be mediated through the omniscience third person narrator, so the reader is more distant from the character. NO- you’re just confused here- if she had written in the first person there would be no omniscient third person narrator, would there? You mean ‘If she had used third person narration the character’s viewpoint would always be…’
As Regeneration is a psychological and sociological novel, it looks at the consequences of the war on society and on the people in it. Barker examines and analyses the psychological effects of the war by using free indirect style and constantly dropping into a character’s consciousness. By this we can see how the war has affected them. ‘He woke to a dugout smell of wet sandbags and stale farts’ (page 101). This is when Prior has been hypnotised to help him recall what incident struck him dumb, Barker drops into his head so the reader can see what he is recalling too.

Good- couple of mistakes here but you’re definitely on the right lines and at about C/B. Continue with your discussion of how Prior’s voice can be heard in the hypnosis passage- look at the vulgarity and harshness of the language, the black humour, the simultaneously tender and callous attitude to his fellow soldiers, reflect on how this is typical of Prior’s personality, how it enacts that personality rather than telling us about it.

Kyle N

Pat Barker’s Regeneration is a novel based around the patients and staff of Craiglockhart hospital for soldiers psychologically traumatized by their experiences of the Great War, a genuine historical setting that allows Barker to include a mixture of fictional characters and fictionalized historical figures, such as Siegfried Sassoon and Captain W.H.R. Rivers. Braker uses their voices in order to tell not only the story of the novel but their each individual stories from their own perspectives, and couple with the viewpoints of the characters she invents this gives a real richness and depth to the text’s reflections on the consequences of war. Barker maintains an informed historical perspective on both real and imagined events, along with a fresh approach to the well-trodden ground of novels about the Great War; Regeneration is concerned with the psychological and sociological consequences of war experience, rather than with the battlefield itself. The larger architecture of the novel helps present rounded characters and Barker’s third person narrator is able to dip in and out of their viewpoints using free indirect style, perhaps the dominant narrative technique of the novel. In contrast with Barker’s historical perspective, Siegfried Sassoon wrote most of his poetry contemporaneously with the war and his purpose was to present not only what he had personally experienced but also to make a political point: to help show his opposition to the war’s continuation and highlight “political errors”. Not only this, he wanted to show sympathy for the suffering soldiers and help raise the public’s attention about what they were going through. The often short, linguistically dense poems Sassoon wrote are much more emotionally direct than Barker’s more expansive, exploratory text. For example, in Enemies, he presents the reader with an in-depth venture into the voice of a soldier stood among “ Germans” he “shot”, showing the effects and repercussions on him. Good, but you need to support this kind of assertion that the text is ‘hard hitting’ with some close analysis of quotation- look at the language of the poem. Very hard hitting and to the point which is constant throughout Sassoons poetry. It is interesting, however, that Rivers muses that the fictionalized Sassoon of Regeneration may have recovered from war trauma so quickly because his poetry was a “therapeutic” way of him expressing his feelings, helping him to deal with his repressed memories and horrifying nightmares.Within, Regeneration, Barker often uses many different voices in order to not only convey different sides of stories but also to help dip into their own lives and experiences. She does this so effectively by using free indirect style, giving her the ability to gain many perspectives. Also, and perhaps more importantly, the variation in narrative style gives the reader a way to distinguish the characters’ voices as she alters her style of writing to correspond with the individual characters. This helps gain an intimacy with each character and develops a recognizable voice for the reader to be able to identify. For example from Sassoon’s perspective You need o put this quote in context- just say what’s happening in the scene- first interview between Sassoon and Rivers- we hear him describe the light in the room as a “glimmering arc” Mention the almost identical phrase in Sassoon’s poem ‘The Death Bed’ the poetic voice used helps the reader know who is talking. This is also easy to describe using the character of Captain Rivers “Pipes lined the walls……gurgling from time to time like lengths of human intestine” again through the medical references used we know it to be from Rivers’ viewpoint.

Rather good so far Kyle- certainly top end of a B. Continue with this for a while- take some examples of FIS and pick apart in as much detail as you can how Barker changes her style to reflect the character whose viewpoint the reader is sharing. You also need to show how FIS allows the novel to be both sociological (looking at the war and its consequences from lots of different angles) and psychological (giving insights into the minds of the traumatized characters like Prior and Burns etc.)

Edward Rance

The novel Regeneration by Pat Barker is set in a Craiglockhart war hospital, Scotland, in 1917. Some of the patients featured in the novel are fictional characters and some are fictionalised historical figures, such as Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Barker is a female novelist of the 20th century who usually writes about northern working class women, so it is a perhaps surprising choice for her to choose to explore the psychological consequences of war on a group of men, and largely upper class men at that. However, this gave Barker a fresh perspective on the Great War and makes her novel stand out from the tradition of texts about The Great War, especially as she uses sophisticated literary techniques to express the voices of a variety of characters, both soldiers and civilians, both male and female. Siegfried Sassoon, on the other hand, was an aristocrat who wrote war poetry. Edward, this introduction of Sassoon is almost comically brief after your investigation of Barker’s purposes and techniques. Expand it- what were Sassoon’s purposes? How were they different from Barker’s? How is he different from Barker- gender, historical period, personal experience etc? How did this influence his poetry?Regeneration is largely about the psychological and sociological aftermath of the Great War, with the only details of the bloody battles coming from the memories, dreams and flashbacks of the characters in the hospital. This allows the novel to be more about the consequences of war, rather than a detailed description of trench combat itself. Because of this overall theme and purpose in the novel, Barker uses free indirect style as her central narrative technique. This is to allow her to highlight not only the psychological aspects of the war but also the sociological aspects at the same time. To get the social issues across, Barker must feature a number of characters where we can experience the action through their point of view.

Free indirect style allows the narrative to enter the thoughts of a character unannounced and their personality will sometimes invade the narrative space. Free indirect style is affected by the style of the characters and we can experience the action in their own language, for example Rivers’ medical speak and stammer. Give a quotation here to support your discussion As well as wanting to express the views of a range of characters, Barker at the same time wants intimacy with her characters to show the physiological aspects of the war. Explain how F.I.S allows Barker to do both of these, perhaps with another example where the style of the narrative reveals the psychology of the character- Burns’ trip to the woods is a good example.
Regeneration has a historical perspective on the war, as it was written in 1992. This contrasts with the poetry of Sassoon, which was written contemporaneously with the war, and with many of the real events described in Regeneraton, as the novel is set during one of Sassoon’s most fertile periods: he wrote much of his best poetry in Craiglockhart in 1917. Sassoon’s poetry is not only written to show personal experiences through the war but also as a political protest. As well as this, unintentionally, writing poetry helped Sassoon. It was described by Captain WHR Rivers as being “therapeutic” for him as it helped him get through the trauma of the war. Expand this, using quotes from the Declaration to support your point about protest and from chapter 2 to support your points about the poetry as therapeutic, which also allows you to contrast the way the voices of the novel are an invention of Barker’s and the voice of Sassoon’s poetry is largely Sassoon’s own, informed by his own painful trawling of his memory.
The poems of Sassoon are obviously a great deal briefer than the novel and this allows for a more emotionally powerful text with more direct, less exploratory feelings and viewpoints. The novel, in contrast has more scope, and multiple characters have to be developed and this novel in particular is nuanced, as it expresses many viewpoints in many voices.

Good start, Ed. You now need to explore in detail Barker’s use of FIS and use detailed analysis to show the difference between, say, Sassoon’s, Rivers’ and Lumb’s voices and viewpoints- how does the vocabulary, sentence style, imagery, even punctuation of the narrative space change according to who the narrative focus is?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

testing

Chris

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle here again just under 1000 had to go work at this poitn and dont wanna rush it. find it a lil hard to go into depth like you said about 1 character but i had ago, and added a lil critical perspective so.

Pat Barker’s Regeneration is a novel based around the inhabitants of Craiglockhart war hospital in Scotland and contains a mixture of fictional characters and fictionalized historical characters, such as Siegfried Sassoon and Captain W.H.R. Rivers. Braker uses their voices in order to tell not only the story of the novel but their each individual stories. Barker maintains an informed historical perspective on both real and imagined events, along with a fresh approach to the well-trodden ground of novels about the Great War; Regeneration is concerned with the psychological and sociological consequences of war experience, rather than with the battlefield itself. The larger architecture of the novel helps present rounded characters and Barker’s third person narrator is able to dip in and out of their viewpoints using free indirect style, perhaps the dominant narrative technique of the novel.

In contrast with Barker’s historical perspective, Siegfried Sassoon wrote most of his poetry contemporaneously with the war and his purpose was to present not only what he had personally experienced but also to make a political point: to help show his opposition to the war’s continuation and highlight “political errors”. Not only this, he wanted to show sympathy for the suffering soldiers and help raise the public’s attention about what they were going through. The often short, linguistically dense poems Sassoon wrote are much more emotionally direct than Barker’s more expansive, exploratory text. For example in Enemies an in depth ventrue into the voice of a soildier stood among “ Germans” he “shot”, showing the effects reprecutions him. This very hard hitting approach to Sassoon’s poetry is contstant throughout “sullen ghosts of men” a very much to the point use of imagery when refering to his fellow dead soildiers. It is interesting however, that Rivers uses that the fictionalized Sassoon of Regeneration may have recovered from war trauma so quickly because his poetry was a “therapeutic” way of him expressing his feelings, helping him to deal with his repressed memories and horrifying nightmares.

Within Pat Barkers Regeneration she often uses many different voices in order to not only convey different sides of stories but also to help dip into their own lives and experiences. She does this so effectively by using free and indirect style giving her the ability to gain many perspectives on different situations. Also though and maybe more importantly it gives the reader a distinguishable way to tell apart the characters voices as she alters her style of writing to correspond with the individual characters. This helps gain an intimacy with each character and develops a recognizable voice for the reader to be able to identify. For example when Sassoon first had a conversation with Rivers at “afternoon tea” for new arrivals we hear his perspective describing the light in the room as a “glimmering arc” the poetic voice used helps the reader know who is talking. This mirroring the voice in Sassoon’s poem “The Death Bed” presenting Barkers research into capturing a true to life type of voice for Sassoon. This is also easy to describe using the character of Captain Rivers “Pipes lined the walls……gurgling from time to time like lengths of human intestine” again through the medical references used we know it to be from Rivers viewpoint. From a critical perspective of Timothy Marshall when discussing free and indirect style in Mikhail Bakhtin’s work the novel Problems of Dostoevvesky’s Poetics we can draw comparisons to how this free and indirect style is meant to be foreseen. “They are so because, in his view, language is constitutively intersubjective (therefore social) and logically precedes subjectivity. It is never neutral, unaddressed, exempt from the aspirations of others. In his word it is dialogic”. This perspective deals with the idea that within free and indirect style is not necessarily the reader overhearing the voice or thoughts of the characters merely hearing what the author want us to hear and pick up from the character in order to grasp a better understanding about the individual. This therefore creates to the reader a recognizable voice and gives the reader the ability to identify characters without any formal introduction to them speaking or dipping into there train of thought.

To help grasp a fuller understanding and gain a further insight into how Pat Barker uses free and indirect style to help identify voices we can concentrate on one character Billy Prior. Within Billy Priors own individual story Pat Barker dives into his past and both his sociological and psychological rehabilitation within the novel. We are first introduced to Billy Prior as a mute Second-Lieutenant who can not communicate with anyone apart from through the use of a pen and pad. The way in which Pat Barker not necessarily presenting his voice but his means of communication through the pad is always seen in capital letters “I DONT REMEMBER”. This when Prior is being asked what his nightmares are about as a way of Rivers helping his rehabilitation. So the introduction to Prior shows him as almost always being angry through the use of the capital letters on the pad. He is seen as being very much a man not willing to share information about anything purely because he does not “REMEMBER”. Apart form this we at first are not able to gain any more information about Prior at this stage, if he wrote in a different style we could maybe pick up information about his personality but Pat Barker leaves us still not knowing to much about this character at first.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eds next 500. This carries on from where i left it last. I havent posted the first 500 on here becuase i am yet to make the alterations you suggested, however i hope to do this during the weekend. anyways here is the next 'installment'.

There are 3 major different meanings of voice in Regeneration. These are the narrative voice, the voices of characters socially and the voice of the characters psychologically. There are multiple narrative voices within the novel as it is important for Barker not to include her own voice because of the male characters. However, Barker’s voice is not completely absent from the text. The character of Prior has many similarities to Barker in the fact that they are both from a working class background. Prior is also an invented character in the novel so Barker is clearly not trying to make her voice absent from the text. Barker has chosen the technique of free indirect style as it allows her to showcase her characters in many different ways. She wants the reader to understand both the social and psychological consequences of the war and free indirect style allows her to do this. This technique is used especially with the character of Rivers. “Not the recent, self conscious stammer of a neurasthenic”. This is something that we would only hear from Rivers as we are in his head and hearing what he is thinking. Without free indirect style it would become difficult for Barker to show Rivers’ real feelings. However it is not just personal feelings that Barker can illustrate using free indirect style. Rivers’ body language is also shown. “Rivers became aware that he was gripping the edge of the parapet and consciously relaxed his hands.” This is also the first time it is made clear to the reader that Rivers may be suffering from war neurosis, as he himself has been traumatised by all the horrific stories he has heard. Rivers also has a stammer but we are told that he has had that since he was young, however another example that Rivers is suffering from mild symptoms of war neurosis is when his stammer gets progressively worse during a conversation with Prior. Here, Rivers has been affected by Priors graphically detailed story leading to his stammer to get worse.
Barker uses phonetic misspelling and dialect words to draw their characters through the way they talk, for example Rivers’ medical speak and Prior’s strong Manchester accent, which Rivers shows a certain snobbery to. Barker also uses many examples of silence to indicate traumatised patients. This is evident in the character of Prior who is suffering from mutism. Prior writes down everything on paper in block capitals which when read give the impression that he is shouting. There are also many occasions in which there are either ‘pauses’ or ‘silences’.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah May - my overall essay, so far at about 1,300 words. I have done the alterations to the first 500 so now hopefully its better. How is the rest?

Pat Barker’s Regeneration is a war novel set in 1917 at Craiglockhart hospital, where those who were directly involved in the war and suffered from neurasthenia were sent for pioneering psychological therapy and treatment. W.H.R Rivers, an army psychiatrist, and Siegfried Sassoon, a soldier who has been sent to Craiglockhart, are the main characters. Regeneration was written in the 1990’sso Barker has a historical perspective and this allows her to reflect on the events and attitudes of her characters with some detachment, allowing her to present the reader with a variety of different viewpoints on the war and its consequences from a variety of different characters. Sassoon was sent to Craiglockhart by the government because they wanted to prove he was suffering from neurasthenia, to prove that he wrote the declaration when he wasn’t in his right mind. Therefore, Sassoon was there for political reasons as well as medical ones. Barker’s main purpose for writing her novel was to give a fresh approach to writing about the war as she takes her readers through the psychological and social consequences of the trenches, rather than describing the action on the battlefield themselves. The novel presents us with three dimensional, developed characters, fictional and fictionalised, and shows the effects of the war on a variety of people with a variety of civilian and military experiences.
Siegfried Sassoon was an educated, aristocratic trench officer in the war, compared to Barker who is a working class, female novelist with no war experience. Sassoon’s poetry makes a very strong point of protest and as he had first hand experience of the war, it is easier to do this. Much of his poetry was actually written whilst in trenches or in hospitals; in fact, some of his poems were written during his stay at Craiglockhart in 1917, the setting for barker’s novel. Sassoon had a number of purposes for his work; he used it as a symbol of protest, to create sympathy for the soldiers and because it was therapeutic: as Rivers notes in Regeneration of the fictionalised Sassoon and his relatively speedy recovery: ‘writing the poems had obviously been therapeutic’ (page 26). His poetry is short, dense, direct, powerful and makes his point very clearly.
In Regeneration, the governing narrative voice is varieties of free indirect style. Free indirect style is a technique of third person narration, which allows the narrator to drop into the character’s ‘heads’ unannounced: ‘the net curtain behind River’s head billowed out in a glimmering arc’ (page 11). This tells us we are in Sassoon’s head because, as he is a poet, no other character would think with that amount of imagery and descriptive vocabulary. Barker uses this throughout the novel because if she used purely third person narration the reader would not get the full effect that they do from free indirect style. So, by using this Barker achieves; a number of characters’ personalities and opinions, the experiences of events of the narrative form from a character’s perspective, more than one main character and intimate knowledge of a number of characters. Without free indirect style the only voice we hear is the narrator’s, perhaps even Barker’s, which isn’t entirely silent. Through this we can see she favours some characters over others, which gives us an idea of her prejudices and opinions. Bakhtin states ‘language is constitutively insubjective (therefore social) and logically precedes subjectivity’, this shows that free indirect style is a narrative trick as the dialogue is actually between the author and the reader. We are being told the story, by the author, rather than being shown it by the characters, unlike it appears to be.
As Regeneration is a psychological and sociological novel, it looks at the consequences of the war on society and on the people in it. Barker examines and analyses the psychological effects of the war by using free indirect style and constantly dropping into a character’s consciousness. By this we can see how the war has affected them ‘he woke to a dugout smell of wet sandbags and stale farts’ (page 101). This is when prior has been hypnotised to help him recall what incident struck him dumb, Barker drops into his head so the reader can see what he is recalling too.
Barker experiments with the social and psychological voices of the characters as well as narrative voices. Timothy Marshall states that ‘the technical resources of narrative in prose (the varieties of indirect discourse in particular) do have an inherent capacity to represent languages other than the author’s’. This comment is more relevant to Barker’s work over Sassoon’s because Barker is meant to be a neutral narrator. Although we don’t get Barker’s voice directly in the novel it is easy to see she isn’t completely invisible, by the way she presents her characters. For example, Barker believes that neurasthenia was an actual effect of the war, so her characters that also believe this are given more time and credibility in the novel. Prior’s view on this subject is the same as Barker’s, whereas Bryce’s aren’t. We can tell by the representation of these characters that Barker favours Prior. Some characters are given more speech than others and Barker tries to create sympathy for others, from the readers, ‘it was the closest prior could come to asking for physical contact’ (page 104). This is after Prior’s hypnotism when he is upset and he ‘seized Rivers by the arms and began butting him in the chest, hard enough to hurt’ (page 104). This appears to be prior’s way of wanting comfort because during the war it was unaccepted for men to express their emotions. Prior seems to be the character who Barker creates the most sympathy for, this could be because they are both from a working class background.
As Barker uses free indirect style the readers can tell whose head we are in by the way they talk and what they say, even if they aren’t introduced. ‘Pipes lined the wall, twisting with the turning of the stair, gurgling from time to time like lengths of human intestine’ (page 17), we know this is Rivers’ head because he is a doctor so he is likely to think that objects are body parts. Rivers’ and Sassoon’s vocabulary and the way they talk show their educated discourse, unlike Prior, Sarah and Ada, where what they say and how they say it shows their working class background. ‘Noting that the grove between radius and ulna was even deeper than it had been a week ago’ (page 18), this shows Rivers’ education and also tells the reader we are in Rivers’ head, as no other character would think this way. ‘Sarah began to feel green and hairy’ (page 159), this shows Sarah’s working class environment through Barker’s voice and language as she compares her to a gooseberry, which is lower class language.
Barker also uses silence as a social voice, particularly with Prior. During the war it was known that the ‘talking cure’ as Sigmund Freud called it, was the only way to repress traumatic events, ‘usually been devoting considerable energy to the task of forgetting whatever traumatic events had precipitated his neurosis’ (page 26). However, it was socially unacceptable for a man to express their emotions, ‘they’d been trained to identify emotional repression as the essence of manliness’ (page 48), because if they did they would be labelled ‘sissies, weaklings, failures’ (page 48). This left the men bottling up their emotions and feelings and, in the case of Prior, struck dumb. When Prior is hypnotised he, Rivers and the readers finally learn what traumatic event had caused his muteness, ‘a numbness had spread all over the lower half of his face’ (page 103). We also know that it took a while for it to be cured, because he never discussed his emotions.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Mr.D said...

Cheers, chaps- saved it, I'll get round to marking it and posting it back on here soon. Probably won't do it by Monday- Sunday afternoon now and I've got other pressing matters, but keep watching this space and it will be posted ASAP

6:58 AM  

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