Role Of Mental Illness In Regeneration

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Due to the inconceivable experiences soldiers endured during World War 1, many including soldiers of a higher ranking suffered from psychological complications. A significant number were diagnosed with 'shell shock' a mental illness prevalent throughout ww1. Stammering and mutism were also a cause of the inexplicable events that took place throughout the war. Throughout his book 'Regeneration' Pat Barker explores the horrific events of the war consequently leading up to the development of mental implications. The illnesses Barker gives an insight to are both obvious to bystanders and hidden, to those except the soldier suffering and the physician Dr Rivers. This gives the reader an in-depth idea as to the range of psychological illnesses the war causes to men who are stereotypically labelled brave and masculine. The psychological effects and the…show more content…
Burns, a once thriving man was thrown by a shell into the gas filled stomach of a German corpse. Therefore leading to a development of a mental implication. During a night at the start of the novel Burns leaves Craiglockhart hospital and goes far into the countryside. There he comes across a tree with deceased animals hanging from it. Although Burns at first is frightened, he eventually begins to remove the animals from their branches, lying them on the ground in a circle around him. Burns lays down in the middle of the circle after he has removed his clothes. This episode suggests to the reader that the effects the war had on these soldiers is so powerful that they would do anything in order to sooth themselves. The willing removal of his uniform also shows that the soldiers suffering from forms of mental illnesses would do anything no matter how small in order to be restored to his previous self before the unspeakable events that caused him to behave so

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