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Regeneration- gender roles

            Pat Barker is the well-known writer of the novel "Regeneration", which describes the stereotypes within society at the time of the First World War. The story is set at Craiglockhart a war hospital for shell-shocked soldiers. The novel discusses how people's lives were changed due to the war, and how it caused them problems. The book also looks upon the issue of the changing gender roles within society at the time, how relationships between men and women were different due to the sense of adjusted "power". This change was due to an increased independence for women, causing a cultural revolution. Within Regeneration Barker employs irony to increase the horror of the war, which adds the feeling of sorrow for the characters. .
             In the novel patients are expected to share with their doctor, calmly, their memories of the war. It appears, out of place for Sassoon to be describing war terrors over tea and sandwiches, just as it is out of place for Prior to describe the horror of walking into machine guns while he and Rivers sit safely. Such irony heightens the terrible descriptions of war, as the readers realise that modern society find it incomprehensible to imagine anything so terrifying, "Dug-out in the middle of no mans land provide the Germans with another forty-eight hours target practice"", the use of the words "target practise" convey such a bitter view of the war, Prior's view on the battles as "practise", reflects his character's anger towards the people causing it. The idea of "regeneration" in the novel is designed to emphasizes the "re-growth and change in men who had been confronted with the reality of war.
             All the men featured in Regeneration have traumas, which result in men having to exit the war and face the issues that caused the problems. All the issues relate back to femininity and weakness they feel. Harriett Gilbert refers to the main "core" of the book as, "the dialogue that develops between Sassoon and Rivers.

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