Examine how writers present the reality of war and the impact on characters in Birdsong, Regeneration and selected WWI poetry.
The reality of war and the mental and physical impact on the involved characters is an important theme in WWI literature. The texts that will be considered involve Birdsong by Sabastian Faulkes, Regeneration by Pat Baker and selected poetry. Specific poems focus on the horrific conditions in the trench and the gruesome action soldiers had to witness; this can be associated with Birdsong which describes the accounts from soldiers and their difficult experiences. Mental cases addresses the issue of the mental impact that the war had on shell-shocked soldiers which relates to Regeneration that portrays the life of shell-shocked soldiers.
Faulkes in particular resents the reality of the war thorough character perspective narration because it gives a detailed description of what the character is experiencing and how they are reacting to it. Using dialogue, Faulkes and Barker portray the reality of war through how the characters react to their surroundings and the emotions they express.
Regeneration opens with Sassoon’s letter of protest regarding the conduct and insincerities of the war. Sassoon is determined that he is “acting on behalf of soldiers” which shows his belief for the injustice of war, he additionally believes it exists in every other solider. Overall it shows he is a noble and selfless character because his sacrifice is benefitial to his comrades. His character is clearly facing moral conflict, which is a result of realising the reality of war, because he states that he is not protesting against “the conduct of war”. The harsh reality of war compells complex opinions fueled by morality and traditional ways of thinking; this is focussed on during a conversation between Sassoon and Graves. Graves contests that his opinion is not “an artificial distinction” and he explains “uniform on, in effect you sign a contract. And...
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