Regeneration By Pat Barker, in depth analysis of Chapter 4 Essay - 1057 Words



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Regeneration By Pat Barker, in depth analysis of Chapter 4

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Text Preview How does Barker convey Burns' experience/regeneration in Chapter 4?

The extract opens with Burns standing by the window, looking out on a bleak and depressing landscape, “sky and hills together in a wash of grey.” The pathetic fallacy reflects on Burns’ mood; downcast, depressed. He feels the need to escape; but is trapped. A sense of darkness and connotations of conflict seem to surround him, both outside, in the form of the stormy weather, and inside the hospital in the form of the crowded room and the men talking in “strained or facetious tones about the war the war the war”. Through the repeated phrase and lack of punctuation, there is a sense that Burns is overwhelmed and feels a desire to break away, “somehow or other he was going to have to get out”. In this extract he is able to make his first steps towards recovery; literally by walking out of Craiglockheart and mentally in his longing to be rid his depression. Once outside, Burns struggles to gain clarity; he feels almost euphoric in his power to make a decision for himself, but is confused, “…the possibilities seemed endless.” This is the first time that he has gained control in his life since his time in the army, where decisions would have been made for him, and he is almost overwhelmed by the sense of choice he has. The character’s extremely nervous state becomes evident on the bus. Surrounded by people, he becomes anxious. His repulsion is evident through the repeated olfactory and tactile imagery, “People smelling of wet wool jerked and swayed against him,” his senses are almost overloaded. Dealing with the normal situation seems too much Burns as past experiences flood back to him, “the lanes were narrower now”. The imagery seems to reflect the trenches, and the pre-modifier “narrower” suggests a sense of claustrophobia and panic. A branch “rattles” against the bus window, “like machine gun fire”. Through this simile we see that, as in battle, Burns is alone. He facing his journey to... Show More

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