Literature 1: Evaluate Literary Texts in Different Genres

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In the novel Regeneration the theme of heroism is quite prominent. There are many characters that are heroic and are revealed to be heroic through the narrative. One of these characters is Dr Rivers. He is the main protagonist in the novel and it is through his personal journey that the story is told. The omniscient narrator is a key element of the story telling; we find out what each of the characters are thinking and feeling without them having to spell it out with dialogue. This is a good way for the reader to understand more about each character than they are willing to give away to each other. Rivers’ journey can be shown through his struggles with his duty and his strong values about honour. His heroism comes to the fore metaphorically as he reaches the conclusion to carry on helping his patients even after he has realised that not everyone can be ‘fixed’. His heroism is also shown literally when he risks his own life against the rising tide to save the life of David Burns from suicide by drowning. Rivers compares himself to Dr Yealland, looking at his work and seeing the results that Yealland can achieve in such a short space of time. Rivers sees his own method as doing his duty; to send the men back to the war front ‘better’ and ready to fight. Yealland’s methods are cruel and sadistic, but they also work, they make the men able to fight again. So in theory he is doing his duty as well. It is this juxtaposition between his own methods and Yealland’s that Rivers has problems with. He shows us, however, that just because his methods take longer and are less cruel, that he is showing some elements of caring for his patients that are more like a father figure would. It takes a lot more strength to send a now mentally stable man back into the chaos and craziness of war when you care about them and their welfare. Rivers says ‘obviously he and Yealland were both in the business of controlling people. Each of them fitted young men back into the role of warrior,...
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