Sunday, April 30, 2006

Y13: Kyle- here you go- you need to look at the different interpretations marking point, just as Aimee does- read my remarks on her essay as well, it wil help. This is very nearly there, though and will gain you a pleasing mark- you should be very happy with this!

kyle's first finished draft the end is weak in my opinion but i have a leat got a copy to u at last. I have added in the alteration you mentioned to do on tues so nearly there now.Pat Barker’s Regeneration PUT REGENERATION IN ITALICS ALL THE WAY THROUGH, PLEASE is a novel based around the inhabitants of Craiglockhart war hospital in Scotland and contains a mixture of fictional characters and fictionalized historical figures, such as Siegfried Sassoon and Captain W.H.R. Rivers. 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 ofwar, rather than the battlefield itself.Barker’s novel can be described as polyphonic: her narrative is presented through a multiplicity of different voices reflecting the personalities, social backgrounds and viewpoints of her characters, meaning the story of the novel is composed of a variety of individual stories. 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, most definitely 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 to highlight ‘political errors’. Not only this, he wanted to elicit sympathy for the suffering soldiers and help raise the public’s awareness of what they were going through.The often short, linguistically dense poems Sassoon wrote are much more emotionally direct that Barker’s more expansive, exploratory text. For example, the poem “Enemies” is a nightmarish, imagined encounter between soldiers (likely to be Sassoon’s own brother) stood among the “hulking Germans” the voice within the poem had “shot” and reduced to “patient, stupid, sullen ghosts of men”. Told almost certainly in Sassoon’s own, authentic, autobiographical voice, the poem shows the repercussions of the war on his psychology and imagination. This very hard-hitting, inescapably personal approach in Sassoon’s poetry is apparent in the talk of the Germans “that I shot/When for his death my brooding rage was hot”; a mission of vengeance that the voice finds ultimately unsatisfactory and even unexplainable. It is the dead Germans who, at the conclusion of the poem, can see why they were killed, not because of the voice’s explanations of his anger but “Because his face could make them understand”.
It is interesting however, that Rivers theorises 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, confused and conflicting emotions of sympathy and hatred and his horrifying nightmares. The reader can certainly see elements of this “therapeutic” benefit in a poem like “Enemies”.This tendency of Sassoon to use his own voice, which is often angry and satirical, yet frequently reveals, perhaps accidentally, the complexity of his own psychology and the war’s affect on it, is in contrast with the variety of individual character voices Barker very carefully ‘directs’ in her novel. GOD PASSAGE THIS, MAKING MATURE AND INSIGHTFUL JUDGEMENTS This is a major point of difference in narrative technique between the novel and the poetry: Sassoon’s voice may be complex, but it always remains recognisably Sassoon’s whereas Barker’s voice is disguised behind the characters she creates or fictionalizes for the novel. She does this so effectively by using free indirect style, giving her the ability to gain many perspectives on different situations and issues surrounding the war. Also, and perhaps more importantly, her use of free indirect style means she can maintain the advantages of the third person narrative perspective while allowing the reader to correspond with their individual personalities and backgrounds. This helps gain an intimacy with each character and develops a recognizable voice for the reader to identify with.For example, when Sassoon first has a conversation with Rivers at “afternoon tea” for new arrivals we hear his perspective describing the light on the curtains in the room as a “glimmering arc”, the poetic voice used helps the reader know who is talking. This mirrors an image in Sassoon’s poem “The Death Bed” – “Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve” – presenting Barker’s research into capturing a true to life voice for Sassoon. We can see something similar happening in the voice she creates for the character of Captain. Rivers. For example, as he heads down a corridor at Craiglockhart the narrative voice notes that “pipes lined the walls….gurgling from time to time like lengths of human intestine”. Here, the use of the medical reference helps the reader understands the description to be from Rivers’ viewpoint.Timothy Marshall, in his reflections on Mikhail Bakhtin’s discussion of free indirect style in Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, comments that Dostoevsky’s novels contain many voices: “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 free indirect style is not the reader overhearing the voice or thoughts of the characters, but that the author is allowing the reader to hear what he wants us to pick up from the character, in order to grasp a better understanding about the individual. This therefore creates for the reader a recognizable voice, and one that we are almost “tricked” into believing is authentic because it is not the same as the author’s narrative voice. Sassoon’s voice in his poems insists that it is authentic because the reader is likely to know Sassoon himself experienced what he writes about. In contrast, Barker’s voices seem authentic because they are different from each other, making them seem individual and the novel be looked at as ‘polyphonic’ or ‘dialogic’ in structure. THIS IS GOOD, BUT YOU NEED TO LOOK AT EVIDENCE AND EVALUATE DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS- A MAJOR POINT IN THE MARKING SCHEME. SO, WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE THAT BARKER IS GIVING US A GENUINELY POLYPHONIC NOVEL- LOTS OF DIFFERENT CONTRASTING VIEWPOINTS ON THE WAR- AND WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE THAT AL THE VOICES ARE REALLY ONE VOICE- HERS. AFTER ALL, THISE WHO D NOT BELIIVE IN PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES, LIKE LANGDON FOR EXAMPLE, ARE GIVEN NO NARRATIVE SPACE. LOOK TOO AT MY MARKING OF AIMEE’S ESSAY FOR FURTHER REMARKS ON THIS SUBJECTTo help grasp a fuller understanding and gain a further insight into how Pat Barker uses free indirect style, to help identify voices we can concentrate on one character, Billy Prior. Within Billy Prior’s own individual story, Pat Barker dives into his past along with both his sociological and psychological rehabilitation inside the novel. We are first introduced to Billy Prior as a mute Second Lieutenant who cannot communicate with anyone apart from through the use of a pen and pad. The way in which Pat Barker presents this not necessarily his voice, but certainly his means of communication through the pad is important, as Prior always writes in capital letters “I DON’T REMEMBER”. This IS when Prior is being asked what his nightmares are about as a way of Rivers helping his rehabilitation. So the introduction of Prior shows him as always being angry through the use of the capital letters on the pad, although Prior himself argues that capitals are simply ‘clearer’ and Rivers thinks he maybe trying to disguise his handwriting so that it can’t be analysed.
Prior is seen as being very much a man not willing to share information about anything purely because he does not ‘REMEMBER’. Apart from this, we at first are not able to gainany more information about Prior at this stage. YES- YOU COULD EXTEND THIS POINT- WHEN PRIOR IS LARGELY ‘HIDDEN’ FROM RIVERS BY HIS MUTISM HE IS ALSO HIDDEN FROM THE READER BY THE LACK OF INSIGHT THE NARRATIVE GIVES INTO HIS INTERNAL LIFE.
Prior’s muteness is gone in Regeneration when wakes up “shouting” we begin to gain more detail about his true voice which has a distinctly “northern accent”. In a conversation with Rivers we see prior’s resistance to talk about what he has gone through. “I don’t think talking helps. It just churns things up” he says. It is not that he does not want to be helped but just that he finds it hard to confront his emotions.

When Prior does begin to slightly open up he adopts a different voice, a satirical one aimed at higher ranked soldiers “The pride of the British army…”. This helps to show Prior’s anger and sarcasm towards the army and he goes on to described how he was in a dugout in “no mans land” for forty-eight hours” and had to stay there while him and his soldiers were bombarded with “one shell after the other”. Prior’s voice now has been able to develop and give the reader a more rounded look on him as a character and start to identify his voice as an individual. The satirical voice also appears in confrontations with Rivers about his own stammer “lucky for you, I mean…if your stammer was the same as theirs – you might actually have to sit down and work out what it is you’ve spent fifty years trying not to say”. GOOD PASSAGE, THIS

The confrontational voice towards Rivers- a person, in Prior’s eyes, in seeming power- can be compared with the satirical voices adopted in Sassoon’s poetry “The General”. For example, in the poem “The General” has a seemingly cheery outlook “Good morning, good morning” which makes him perceive to have no sympathy at all. THIS IS POORLY EXPRESSED- YOU NEED TO SHOW HOW THE GENERAL’S CHEERY GREETING CLEARLY IGNORES THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION AND IS THEREFORE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT IT APPEARS TO BE- CALLOUS, RATHER THAN CHEERFUL AND CARING. He is seen to have smiled at soldiers even though he knows “most of ‘em dead” or that is what is awaiting them. The young boys, however, are inevitably going to die “by his plans of attack”.

YOU NEED TO DEFINE LYRIC AND EPIC VOICES- LOOK AT YOUR NOTES AND AGAIN, MY MARKING OF AIMEE’S ESSAY.The satirical voice and epic voice Sassoon uses is very similar to the way Barker manipulates Prior’s own actions towards Rivers in some respects. The epic voice being Sassoon’s way of showing his own disgust and anger towards the war, which is evident here. However, his lyric, therapeutic voice comes out in the poem “Letter to Robert Graves” something he never wanted published. Where he is able to bear all and deal with some inner emotions he was experiencing. He uses his lyric voice to deal with issues concerning his injury, “the bloody bullet missed its mark”. The use of black humour to present it may have been better to kill him.AGAIN, EPRESSION HERE IS UNCLEAR He also covers a deeper CONCERN that Sassoon often portrays the love between him and his troops for example “I made them love me. Although they didn’t want to do it”. Something that in Regeneration is the overriding reason he decides to go back “for his troops”. The lyric voice that Sassoon adopts here is a more sombre one as he confronts issues dealing with his injury and the feelings towards his troops this vulnerability within Sassoon could possibly be the reason he did not want this piece published. GOOD POINT HAVE A LOOK AT THE PASSAGE BELOW, THOUGH, WHICH GIVES YOU A NOTION OF THE SORT OF DETAILED ANALYSIS YOU NEED FOR THE HIGHER BANDS:

In ‘Counter Attack’ by Sassoon, he gives the account of a battle. The poem features several extremely lengthy sentences, ‘We held their line,
With bombers posted, Lewis guns well placed,
And clink of shovels deepening the shallow
This shows the pace of the event and the sheer amount of tasks being carried out. The poem’s almost diary-like tone gives the reader an insight into the poet’s mind, or at least an impression of authenticity. It is likely therefore that the content of the poem will be sensationalised and exaggerated, the opening line, ‘we’d gained our first objective hours before’, for example, could be interpreted as sounding like an adventure for the soldiers. The poem is written as if Sassoon is talking to the reader, the endless clauses replicating speech. This style may have been intentionally used so as to appear more real and thus shocking to the reader.
Through the relationship with Sarah Lumb we are able to gain a different person’s viewpoint on the war and the consequences of this on the people and society in general. We are also able to draw both contrasting and comparative aspects with Sassoon’s poetry through the character of Sarah Lumb. She is first introduced to us at a café in Edinburgh where her voice is at first very much representative of her character. She is a hard working northern woman paid just “fifty bob a week”. This character may also not only be a love interest for Prior but in another way a tool for Barker to portray something she has a lot of knowledge of and is a common theme in her other novels, such as Union Street. Sarah Lumb brings a woman’s point of view to matters. Sarah’s interaction with Prior develops through the NOVELand we dip often into her own mind on numerous occasions with the use of free indirect style.
The first instance of this is when Sarah and Madge go to visit Madge’s injured husband in hospital. As Sarah walks around the hospital corridors, she notices “none of these men was badly wounded”. As she continues through the hospital, she finds herself lost and then enters an area where she becomes very “aware of a silence… her entrance”. The free and indirect style used here by Barker is to show Sarah’s own voice and reaction to “a row of figures in wheelchairs”. This helps give an account of every thing she is seeing and through voicing her opinions, we can gain how she feels about it all. These people hidden away with “trouserlegs sewn short: empty sleeves pinned to jackets” are also something Sassoon covers in two of his owns poems “Glory Of Woman” and to some extent in “Does it Matter”. “Glory Of Women” can almost seems based on Sarah Lumb’s own character when she uses the line “You make us shells” when referring to women during the war, which could link to Regeneration as Sarah’s actual job is that very thing; another example of possibly how Barker constructs the voices of her own characters by using examples and researching into Sassoon’s poetry. The final line by Sassoon in his very single-minded satirical voice which presents the idea of the delusional vision that some women have of their men fighting in the war “knitting socks to send your son, / His face being trodden deeper into the mud”. This portrait of how many women at this time thought and how unaware they were of the actual brutality and atrocities that were taking place is certainly defensible historically, but Sassoon can still be accused of telling only part of the story and being rather patronizing towards women here.

Sassoon’s very blunt point of view is one Barker challenges through the voice of Sarah Lumb. Sarah becomes very angry about the way these soldiers are hidden away and concludes that “If the country demanded that price, then it should bloody be well prepared to look at the result”. Her own voice here is showing the anger at mistreatment that she felt these men were enduring. This attitude almost mirrors Sassoon’s views in “Glory For Women” – Sarah’s voice, or the voice of a woman when one is allowed to speak, Barker seems to be arguing, is closer to Sassoon’s own personal voice than perhaps he would be comfortable with. Sarah Lumb’s voice in Regeneration helps to bring in a female perspective on the war and lets a woman voice her opinion in a very male-dominated novel. AGAIN, WORTH EXPANDING THIS- IS IT A MALE – DOMINATED NOVEL JUST BECAUSE MOST OF THE CHARACTERS ARE MALE, OR ARE THE FEMALE WRITER, THE FEMALE VOICES WITHIN IT AND THE ‘FEMININE’ CONCERNS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES RATHER THAN ACTION-PACKED BATTLE SCENES OF PAIN AND GLORY ENOUGH TO ACTUAL MAKE IT A ‘FEMININE’ NOVEL. WORTH EVALUATING FOR ‘DIFERENT INTERPRETATIONS’ MARKS.
“Does It Matter?” is another poem by Sassoon which demonstrates his frustration with the war. This is shown by Sassoon thorough the use of his epic voice. This poem also can be closely compared with the character of Sarah Lumb in Regeneration and her attitude to the treatment of the patients in the hospital. This attitude is mirrored within the poem “Does It Matter – losing your legs?” Sassoon’s own voice narrating is clearly satirical and reflecting his own personal feelings once again. This satirical voice continues with the use of the line “splendid work for the blind” and “turning your face to the light” the best you can now hope for to gain any glimpse of colours and seeming light. Through Sassoon’s structure of this poem we are able to see how THIS SENTIMENT can be truly seen as patronising. He uses a ridiculously jolly rhyming scheme, almost nursery rhyme-like, to help enhance the satire in his voice and poke fun at a very serious situation. Using this method, he presents an ironic distance with himself using this jolly rhyming scheme to portray ideas of mutilation. This is where Sassoon’s satirical voice is arguably connected with his lyric voice and can be a way of helping him therapeutically deal with the trauma of war. NICELY ARGUED AND A SOPHISTICATED POINT.

This carries through into the final line of the poem “And no one will worry a bit” this an example of how the public’s view of the war and all would be altered if they only knew the trouble soldiers went through. This can be closely linked to Sassoon’s own personal views, which are voiced right from the beginning of Regeneration within his Declaration where he talks “the endured suffering of the troops”.Other poems also within Sassoon’s work which help us see him in a different light is “To the Warmongers” with a one-stanza structure containing short lines to increase the speed it is to be read at. With a simple rhyme scheme, the pace of the poem is increased even further. The tone of the poem shows Sassoon’s lyric voice coming through presenting his seeming opinions on the war. The powerful short lines such as “I’m back form hell” and “Moan out there brutish pain” show Sassoon’s anger towards these people who want the continuation of the war. By looking at the time, it was written we can see this is just before he wrote his deceleration where he even states his protest for “those who are suffering”. The poem coming in my opinion from Sassoon’s own voice and producing a hard hitting poem of his own personal thoughts relating to the war. This run parallel to the portrayal of him in Regeneration as Pat Barker shows him upset in the bar at the golf club whilst looking at the old men sitting around discussing their views on the war. This most likely a tool used by Barker again using Sassoon’s own poetry to help construct a more true to life voice for his own character Representation. GOOD POINT, WORTH EXPANDING

Another poem where Sassoon challenges outsiders views and opinions in the war is in “Great Men”. Here we see his satirical voice used again to poke fun at other parts of the army “Talk our noble sacrifice and losses”. Sassoon here again aiming his views at people in power who seemingly want the war to continue but know nothing of the actual going s on within the war. This relating within Regeneration relating to not only Sassoon’s character but Priors own views which I earlier mentioned.Within the poem “The Death Bed”, we begin to see the darker side of Sassoon’s poetry, which helps reveal an even deeper side to his lyric voice. The inevitable awaiting for the passing of a soldier and the personification of “death” having its own voice helps Sassoon communicate a deeper meaning. This idea of the character drifting in and out of consciousness “through crimson gloom to darkness” along with the actual character of death “who’d stepped toward him” really emphasizes the trauma that Sassoon experienced during the war and something he is trying to overcome at this point.

Through these sorts of poems Rivers believes that Sassoon was able to overcome “war neurosis” so quickly. The coming to terms and dealing with death in this way helps Sassoon in his rehabilitation immensely. A similar poem in respects of dealing with aspects to do with the war itself is in “Counter Attack”. Sassoon once again here uses voices within his poem “Stand-to and man the fire-step!” to the poem a more realistic feel. He again here voices his attitude towards death “Down he sank and drowned, / Bleeding to death” this IS another example of how through his poetry Sassoon is able to voice his inner feeling and release things that other people suffering “war neurosis” find hard to do. Whilst looking through both pieces we can see clear differences in the voices used although some comparisons can also be made. Within Part Barker’s Regeneration she is able to adopt many different voices through her clever use of free indirect style. Such characters as Billy Prior and Sarah Lumb are tools which Barker uses in order to sometimes disguise her own opinions and thoughts about the war. Barker through thorough research is able to capture Sassoon’s voice even more true to life with references to her own work. This is also evident in her fictionalised characters where pieces of Sassoon poetry are also evident. Sassoon on the other hand deals with his poetry as a tool to convey his true feelings on things and voice personal opinion form someone who has experienced it all. Through the structure and rhythm of his poems Sassoon is able to voice the way in which he would like his poems to be perceived when read by a novice. Along with his usage of the epic, lyric and satirical voices, Sassoon poetry can be seen as a release as well a way for him to promote his own political feelings about the “continuance” of the war and to place the people in charge in a position of BEING BROADLY SATIRISED



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