The Theme of Gender in Pat Barker's "Regeneration" and Michael Morpurgo's "Private Peaceful" College
Both Regeneration and Private Peaceful are set in the First World War, and are strongly shaped by time and memory. Private Peaceful shadows young Private Tommo Peaceful and his older brother Charlie, and is told in a simple yet eloquent style. It follows the brothers through the internal and external journey of war; in particular exploring the theme of attempting to come to terms with “living two separate lives in two separate worlds.” Morpurgo not only portrays the atrocities of war for two young men, but also rural English life; one that is idyllic yet highly hierarchical. Regeneration displays the lives of soldiers in Craiglockhart psychiatric hospital and the staff who delivered their treatment. Barker stated in an interview with Wera Resch that "The trilogy is trying to tell something about the parts of war that don't get into the official accounts"; Private Peaceful is itself an account the private side of war, but like Regeneration places its characters' struggles in historically well-developed social and gender contexts.
Regeneration was written with a mixed tone of irony and anger; both of which are missing from history books. This novel is especially known for showing the disillusionment, horror and turmoil that came...
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