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Prior Regeneration

  • Date Submitted: 12/04/2014 06:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.5 
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Abby Hayes                                 Teacher: Jolyon Pike                                         Word count: 1,320
Analysing aspects of form, structure and language, explore the ways that Barker creates and uses the character (Prior) in the novel Regeneration
Billy Prior is the most prominent fictional character throughout the novel Regeneration (and the rest of the trilogy). He is used, alongside Rivers, by Barker at the beginning of the novel as an example of a doctor/patient relationship in the war situation at the time, involving the treatment of soldiers diagnosed with things such as war neurosis. He is used in contrast with Sassoon, as Sassoon and Rivers connect on an equal level from the start, almost immediate friends, but Prior does the opposite in that he opposes Rivers as a ‘doctor’ figure in every way, due to things such as his views on class and his own personal experiences. Barker created Prior as he is a blank canvas character, meaning she was free of the restraints of a historically accurate character’s own views and actions at the time, themes that are explored through Prior include women during wartime, class and the effects of shell shock on men.
The subject of class and judgement, in the case of Prior, is brought forward as soon as chapter 6. Rivers hears Prior’s voice for the first time and the way that Prior speaks gives Rivers a completely different view of him in comparison to when he was mute. Prior is first introduced in chapter 5, and the audience are immediately given the idea that he is an unpleasant character, before he is even presented, by way of how another character sees him; Sister Rogers. The chapter is from Rivers’ point of view, and it is his own thought that introduces the way Prior is perceived; ”It was unlike Sister Rogers to take dislike to a patient, but there was no mistaking the animosity in her voice”. Just the fact the someone who does not even talk can make an apparently good natured nurse extremely hostile...


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