Regeneration, inspired by the war adapts the personal and psychological effects of war trauma to create characters that show how the war changed people and what it did it mentally. Through the characters of prior and rivers. Barker creates the theme of self exploration between their relationship and interactions. To take us into an insight into the writers perspective and the connection reflected of the time period.
The importance of the metaphor in the title 'Regeneration' is critical as a central theme as Barker notes that the title adds meaning to the novel in the way the men are 'regenerated', but never complete. Living in the 1950's people were said to be incapable of change and were over-cautious in repressing their emotions. This idea is exhibited through Prior and Rivers interactions and is a successful way in portraying Barkers interpretation of habitual human behaviour intermingled in the theme; self exploration from which both characters undergo issues with sexuality, class struggle and duty.
Billy Prior plays one of the most complex and trivial characters in the novel and is the only male character that is entirely fictional, Barker makes Prior an important character, the antagonist, to bring out facets of Rivers own personal dilemmas. Through this we see how Rivers undergoes a personal growth by his decisions, thoughts and moral dilemmas. Unlike Rivers, Prior is a changing character and his development in the novel is studied by his conflicting nature. The social relations within the text are influenced by the authors own class-based assumptions which contributes to her depiction of class executed through many characters. Regeneration purports the focus between Prior's battle to improve his social status by his actions and opinions. Barker also makes Prior one of the most relate-able characters,also coming from a