Regeneration by Pat Barker is a classic exploration of how the traumas of war brutalised a generation of young.
‘I just don’t think our war aims – whatever they may be – and we don’t know – justify this level of slaughter.’
The poets and soldiers Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen are dispatched to Craiglockhart War Hospital in Scotland in 1917. There, army psychiatrist William Rivers is treating brutalised, shell-shocked men. It is Rivers’ job to fix these men and make them ready to fight again. As a witness to the traumas they have endured, can he in all conscience send them back to the horrors of the trenches?
The PEP Reading Group will discuss Pat Barker’s Regeneration as part of its Spring 2019 series. This semester’s series will explore literature of World War One in order to recognize and remember the recent one-hundred-year anniversary of the end of that conflict.
Led by WashU faculty, the Prison Education Project Reading Group (est. 2014) convenes each semester in the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center to consider a series of texts. Designed to sharpen participants’ reading and critical thinking skills, increase expose to significant and interesting texts, and to promote an intellectual environment within MECC, the Reading Group also builds up the skills needed for participants to become successful applicants to the Prison Education Project.
Image: Käthe Kollwitz, The Volunteers, Plate 2, War, 1921/22, woodcut, Kn 173 © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln
Book Description: Penguin Books