Pat Barker.

Essay by shutupkristenHigh School, 10th grade May 2003

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The experiences and stories of Regeneration are greatly inspired by historical events, sociological influences, and the family history of the author, Pat Barker. Bringing real life poets and their experiences together with a fictional plot surrounding the Great War, Barker was able to produce a novel from an intriguing blend of fact and fiction, one that conveys several aspects of history and pieces them together with first hand knowledge from her family. Tying both the horrific stories from her grandfather in battle, and the familiarity that her husband had with a man in the field of war neuroses, Barker was able to create a novel confronting the psychological effects of World War I.

Born in Thornaby-on-Tees in 1943, Barker endured a childhood of forlorn, one without a father. As an infant, Barker's father was a pilot in the Royal Air Force, but did not survive War World II. Instead, she was forced to face the consequences of war at an early age (Carson, 1997). Barker was brought up mainly by her grandparents, and aside to her father's presence in war, she was exposed to the stories and scars of her grandfather, resulting from the First World War. This was described in an interview with Narins (1997) when Barker had answered, "My grandfather first ignited my curiosity about the war, plying me with tales of his military exploits while toying with his old bayonet wound."(p.11). This response by Barker describes how her grandfather was such an important figure in her life. His actions and stories lighted way for Barker to be intrigued by the Great War, and later they inspired her to write a story such as Regeneration. Together, the absence of her father, and the stories and wounds of years of fighting, made early and lasting...