Extract from Regeneration by Pat Barker

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The extract begins with a scene of relief and joy, a large contradiction to how it ends where there is sadness, anger and fear. The writer seemed to have purposely used this contradiction as a way to contribute to the mood of the passage and of its readers; to give a sense of how easy feelings change and how our mood depends greatly on our environment. We can observe these signs of relief and joy mentioned earlier through the way the writer describes how the patients in Ward Fourteen behave. Even though the ward is overcrowded with injured men, they are still happy. Sarah felt like "the object of amused appreciation from all parts of the ward" meaning the men were still the same as they were before going into war; young men out to get girls' attention. Relief is also seen through Madge when she inspects her injured lover and see that he still has his arms and legs.

Although in some parts there are feelings of panic and nervousness, which is experienced by Madge as she walks past beds looking for her lover, and also jealousy which Sarah feels when Madge and her lover plan on what to do on his leave. The writer cleverly uses the terms ‘green' and ‘hairy' implying Sarah was beginning to turn into a jealous monster. The writer includes these feelings again as a contradiction, this time between the feelings of the two girls and the rest of the men. As the reader, we are torn, not knowing whose feelings to trust and leaving us vulnerable in a way.

The language the writer uses throughout most of the extract is simple and straight to the point and this adds a sense of seriousness in the mood of the passage. For example, when Sarah is walking out of the ward she knows there "must be other wards where the wounds were not so slight". The mood has changed already from that sense of joy to fear as we wonder what the writer means by this, further adding to our vulnerability to fear and panic. When Sarah suddenly gets lost in this world of rushing doctors and nurses, our...
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