In ‘Regeneration,’ Wilfred Owen does not feature very often, and when he does feature, he is always alongside Siegfried Sassoon. Hence, I feel Owen’s purpose in the novel is more to advance and develop Sassoon’s character than it is his own. However, through his meeting and interactions with Sassoon, Owen actually develops himself too, in terms of his confidence and his poetry.
When Owen first features in the novel, he is described as a “short, dark haired man.” This gives the impression that he is quite unassuming, “small” giving the idea of him being meek. He also comes across as being extremely shy and having a very nervous disposition. This is shown through him having a stammer – which Sassoon describes as “not as bad as some, but bad enough.” The fact he is so nervous could be due to the fact that “everything about Sassoon intimidated him.” It is clear that Owen holds Sassoon in incredibly high regard, shown through the fact he brings five books for him to sign. As Sassoon intimidates him, Owen could feel that perhaps he is not worthy of Sassoon or Sassoon’s time. This shows Owen’s issues with confidence – that could link to his stammer. It is also said that Owen is imitated by Sassoon not only physically (“his height, his good looks”) but also socially: “aristocratic voice.” This gives an idea of Owen’s background, implying that he is of a lower social class than Sassoon, or at least thinks he is. A more positive side to Owen is when he states that “I tell her [his mother] everything. In m-my l-letters.” The fact he tells his mother everything about the war implies that he is quite honest and forthcoming about the horrors of war. This relates to the honesty that comes across in his poetry, which links to the next time Owen appears in the novel and describes poetry as “something to take refuge in.”
In Chapter 11, there is a long dialogue between Owen and Sassoon. This dialogue links to the