Regeneration By Pat Barker Essay

2081 words - 8 pages

If we have to look at regeneration as healing and more specifically, the process of healing the mind, then it implies that the patient has a mentally unstable condition and has to be helped back to a normal stable mental condition. The definition of a normal stable mental condition in every human falls within the range of this person's ability to access situations rationally and objectively, parallel with a sense of responsibility and duty towards the fellow people, the law and the social standards of the place, time and condition of the society that this person is a part of. The reaction, behavior or response to a given situation should bring balance or maintain balance in the situation for the sake of being reliable in the protection of security measures and the advancement of the generally understood purpose.

When an individual is exposed to a crises situation that causes severe shock, it can lead to a mental state which produces often unintentional, involuntary disturbing behavior. This behavior is usually connected to the specific crises which caused the shock and when this person encounters similar situations, it produces this often irrational reaction.
Every individual differs in personality and character and all are differently affected by the same crises. Among a group of people, only one may collapse mentally in a given crises. This means that the healing process involves not only dealing with the nature of the crises, but also about why this specific crisis had this effect of shock on this individual.

In this novel the author deals with the First World War’s harsh unthinkable conditions in which the soldiers had to fight. Crises were a daily part of their lives. All war conditions are crises conditions, but in this novel the author relates the personal crises experiences of the individual soldiers in particular those who had a mental break down. In the ghastly condition of war in which it is almost normal to have nightmares and vomit regularly, only severe symptoms of breakdown where considered as needing treatment or for that matter 'regeneration'.

These devastated soldiers were transferred to a mental hospital where they received counseling by a professional psychiatrist and a safe environment in which to rest. Their symptoms were often of a psycho-somatic nature like being paralyzed, blind, mute or stammered. The doctor counseled them with gentle, patient wisdom until he understood them and helped them to understand themselves and their experience of the crises.

They were considered as recovered when their psycho-somatic symptoms disappeared and when they could function normally again. In this case they were sent back to the war zone to be the responsible citizens trained to do their duty fighting for the freedom of their country.

In contrast with this, is the particular case of Siegfried Sassoon, who was also transferred to the mental facility.
His case was not typical, because he was not suffering from a mental breakdown....

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