Sassoon, Owen, and Graves in Regeneration

A look at the psychological battles of the work of Owen, Graves, and Sassoon.

This paper discusses how the medium of poetry is especially suited for communicating the nuance of the ?inner struggle? with war and the sufferings of those required to participate in it. It looks at how the three poets, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, and Wilfred Owen, are excellent examples of writer/soldiers who express their psychological struggles with war in their poetry, in their cases, the first World War, and how these struggles gain an even greater impact when fictionalized into novel form in Pat Barker?s “Regeneration”.
“The sad truth is that nothing has changed in the years intervening between the “dying” of the first World War’s souls and the present time. Indeed, Barker’s description and dramatization of the events surrounding the writing of Sassoon, Owen, and Graves, resonates all too clearly, especially when dramatized in the human terms and details of the novel. Indeed, the messages Sassoon imparts in Regeneration are just as relevant today. That he is discharged from the hospital back to the fight, as River’s notes, most probably straight to his death mirrors the doom of war itself. It consumes all, even truth, and Sassoon sees that he is ultimately unable to do otherwise. Finally, the reader is left with the results of, in the words of the New York Times Book Review, a brilliantly harrowing?novel that makes the madness of war more than a metaphor.”