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Regeneration And Journey’s End Essay

1189 words - 5 pages

Both “Regeneration” and “Journey’s End” are set during world war one, with “Regeneration” looking at the mental effects of the men removed from the war and “Journey’s End” focusing on a short period of time in a trench. Sherriff used a play when writing “Journey’s End” so that he could give a true representation of trench life rather than the dramatized version that was commonly presented when it was written in 1928. Barker used novel form when writing “Regeneration” to show us the after effects the war left on men involved; it showed us how many men were suffering with what seems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was an unrecognized mental disorder until 1980. However both texts are similar in that they aim to dispel common views of the war, they show people what was hidden from them and present the truth about the war from their own experiences; Barker’s granddad having served in the war and Sherriff himself serving in the trenches, so it could be argued they are both pieces of faction literature.
Sheriff chose to use a play set in the trenches so that he could confine the audience to the theatre like men in the trenches. It was a way of mimicking the claustrophobia the soldiers would have felt. Using a play set in one place over a short period of time, he is able to show the long waits and boredom soldiers faced. The “sounds of the war” that are faintly present also add to the verisimilitude and help the audience understand what the men faced daily. Although sheriff effectively dispels common misconceptions of the trenches, his use of a play doesn’t allow us to understand how his characters are feeling. By Barker’s choice to write “Regeneration” as a novel she is able to give us an insight to how men who had fought and suffered in the war felt. The third person omniscient narrator lets us into the thoughts of multiple characters rather than just one. This allows the reader to understand the conflicted thoughts most soldiers that returned from the war had and how different each of their individual traumas were. Both the forms of literature chosen in “Journey’s End” and “Regeneration” are helpful in putting across the authors messages.
Poetry is used in both Regeneration and Journey’s End to increase the sense of verisimilitude within the texts. It gives the soldiers a voice to express how they feel. In regeneration Sassoon helps Owen rewrite 2 lines of his famous poem, Anthem for Doomed Youth. Sassoon asks Owen if the “these” he is referring to in the poem are the British dead or everyone who died, Owen responds with “All the dead”. This gives the soldiers a voice, it shows that the men who fought the war didn’t hate the Germans, and they saw them as people stuck in the same unfortunate position as them however they were forced to fight each other on the basis that it was their duty to their country. Sassoon saying “It isn’t a minor change” you begin to understand how differently people at home viewed the Germans to the people who...

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