To What Extent Do You Feel That Sherriff And Barker’s Different Approaches To Representing War In Play And Novel Form, Shape Our Responses?

680 words - 3 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 affects 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, the 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 ...view middle of the document...

Sassoon saying “It isn’t a minor change” you begin to understand how differently people at home viewed the Germans to the people who fought them. It gives you a sense of how most soldiers who returned home probably felt.
In Journey’s end, Sherriff uses an extract from Alice in wonderland to cleverly portray how the soldiers felt about the war. He picks an extract that references a crocodile that “welcomes little fishes with gently smiling jaws”. This could be a reference to how the soldiers felt about the war. They were tricked into thinking the war was going to be a great adventure, a lot of fun with their friends and over very quickly however, it was almost the complete opposite; the crocodile could represent the government deceiving the soldiers (represent by the fish) with a false sense of what they’re about to go through. The crocodile could also represent the war as a crocodile is a creature that deceives its prey before killing it, much like how many men died in the war and they were deceived into thinking it would be fun. Alice in wonderland could also be a metaphor for their own lives in the trenches. Trotter says to Osborne he doesn’t see the point in his book to which Osborne replies “Exactly. That’s just the point.” This could represent how pointless Osborne feels the war is and he finds he is stuck in a nonsense world just like Alice.
In contrast though many people would argue that both Barker and Sheriffs choice to use poetry creates authorial intrusion. By Barker choosing the Anthem for doomed youth as the poem Sassoon and Owen work on and her choosing what lines to change she could just be reflecting her own personal views instead of Owen or Sassoon. The same happens with Sherriff. He deliberately chose to use Alice in wonderland and he decided which part of it to use, this could be to reflect his own opinions. So it could be argued that using poetry doesn’t actually gives the soldiers

Works Cited

Regeneration, Pat Barker.
Journey's End, R.C. Sherriff

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