Social Impacts of Wwi in Europe

Topics: World War I, Sigmund Freud, Trench warfare Pages: 4 (1049 words) Published: December 19, 2012
History 223 Second Paper Assignment

There were certainly instances where the War brought different groups of society together, especially in 1914. However, for the most part, I believe the War eventually drove different groups apart. The innocent solidarity that bound groups of people together in 1914 gradually fragmented into divisions based upon class, gender, intellect and occupation.

Regeneration by Robert Graves portrays the division that is created between a society and its shell-shocked soldiers. Despite enlisting in the war and fighting for their country, the soldiers are banished from society due to its preconceived stigmatism of soldiers' psychological instability. The shell-shocked soldiers were a lingering and disturbing reminder of the war, leading society to send away the soldiers in hopes of erasing the last remnants of war. In addition to the division created between society and shell-shocked soldiers, there was a class differentiation within the group of shell-shocked soldiers often evident through the symptoms they displayed. Each character is distinguished from another based upon his individual beliefs towards the war. Dr. Lewis Yealland discriminates against the shell-shocked soldiers by claiming that it was not the war that caused their psychological damage, but rather their weak character. This alleged weak character exhibited by the shell-shocked soldiers led them to an inevitable degeneracy regardless of their exposure to war. Sassoon positions himself against society by developing an "anti-war complex." Through Sassoon's experiences, we see the growing divide between those in favor of the war and those against the war, as well as the division created by the differing opinions regarding shell-shocked soldiers. 

The division created between British society and the shell-shocked soldiers is depicted throughout Regeneration. Upon seeing the shell-shocked soldiers returning from war, society immediately ostracized them, thereby...
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