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The importance of Siegried Sassoon's letter in 'Regeneration', by Pat Barker

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  1. The analysis of Sassoon's letter
    1. Form and style of the letter
    2. Sassoon's conception of war: themes of the letter
  2. The importance of the letter within the novel

First of all it's important to know that this letter has actually been written by the real Sassoon. He was a poet and even if his first poems were kind of romantic, he is mostly famous for his poems about war. In these war poems, he describes the horror and the barbarism of war with gruesome details such as dead bodies, suicide and the horrible living conditions in the trenches. The aim of his poems was to open the eyes of the British population and show them what propaganda was hiding from them.

[...] The content of the letter is similar to the poems he used to write : the aim is to show the atrocity of the war and the pain which the soldiers are subjected to. He describes his letter as an act of wilful defiance It is an act of rebellion, but also a political one. He states the reasons for which he protests : the political errors and insincerities the callous complacence of those at home who don't fight and the evil and unjust sufferings of the troops. [...]

[...] We have therefore decided that it would be interesting to understand why Pat Barker chose to put Siegried Sassoon's letter in the beginning of her novel and what the importance of the letter is. We will first of all examine Sassoon and the letter's form and content and second of all the importance of the letter within the novel. PART 1 : The analysis of Sassoon's letter : In the first part we will study Finished with the War : A soldier's Declaration in its form, its themes and opinions that are expressed in it. [...]

[...] PART 2 : The importance of the letter within the novel: We shall now speak of the importance of the letter within the novel. In order to understand this letter it is important to make an analysis of Sassoon's character and what his similarities with the real Sigfried Sassoon are. Judging by his letter, we get the impression that Sassoon is a man of strong character. He is independant, in his thoughts as much as in his actions and this is underlined in the text by the use of the singular pronoun at the beginning most of his sentences, when he says: am a soldier" am making this statement as an act of willful defiance", have seen and educed the suffering of the troops" etc Sassoon's character in the book is not very different from the real Sassoon and Pat Barker's novel although it is a fictional one, is based on real historical figures and she has tried to stay faithful to the real characters. [...]

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