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The Horrors Of War In Regeneration And All Quiet On The Western Front

1739 words - 7 pages

As Bertrand Russell once said “War does not determine who is right - only who is left.” No one ever truly wins a wart. The horrors of war are devastating; both mentally and physically. The horror is not only ever present during life on the Frontline, it lives on in the survivors guilt. I believe that althought the horror of war is represented in the soldiers, we are all too quick to forget about the feelings of those at home, the friends and families, and the effects the war had on them. The effects of war are prominent throughtout the Novels “Regeneration” and “All quiet on the Western Front” and is also explored deeply in Wilfred Owen’s “Selected War Poetry”. Throughout these works we discover that war was inescapable for these men, they had no choice, and it+++++s events were also inescapable. We discover that the men would rather die defending their country as a hero than live with the flashbacks, the guilt, the both mental and physical scarring. They would rather lose their lives than their limbs. I find these works encompass this question fully, as it covers all angles. Pat Barker never really shows her opinion in the novel, it is more factual, and as it is based upon real events and real people it’s a reliable source of information on the horror of war and it’s effects, without bias. Erich Maria Remarque had first hand experience in the First World War, and he gives us an insight into what life on the frontline was really like. Althought fictional, I believe his suffering would have still haunted him years later, compelling him to write “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Wilfred Owen’s poetry is integral in understanding the horror and effects of war. Where the other text’s were wrote after the time period, Owen wrote his poetry whilst on duty and expresses the views of a soldier to us wholeheartedly and honestly. I believe it’s important to note that Owen lost his life during the war,and that his work, untainted, is still important to understanding the time period in today’s society.

The Physical effect of war is one of its most poignant horrors, expressed mainly in harrowing personal experiences. We aren’t privy to this sort of imagery in Regeneration, it’s shown once when Sarah Lumb stumbles upon the amputees hidden around the back of the hospital “in the shadows”; out of sight, out of mind; almost. In my opinion, I believe this scene, although uneasy and distressing, may be one of my favourites, as it acknowledges not only the human cost of war, but also the fragmented men left behind. Barker draws contrast to the “shadowy figures” with the dazzling effect of the sun upon them; I believe she is trying to contrast what they have become with whom they once were. The light is a symbol of purity and peace, their inner spark has been...

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