Full Title  Regeneration

Author Pat Barker

Type of Work Novel

Genre Historical fiction; war novel

Language English

Time and place written 1990–1991; Durham, United Kingdom

Date of first publication 1991

Publisher Viking

Narrator An unknown, omniscient narrator

Point of view Third person omniscient; the narrator is not present or obtrusive in the text, yet is able to know the thoughts and feelings of each of the characters

Tone Matter-of-fact, realistic, and resigned; the narrator does not gloss over details or make them any more palatable for the reader

Tense Immediate past

Setting (time) 1917, near the end of the World War I

Setting (place) Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland

Protagonist Dr. Rivers

Antagonist Madness; Rivers and his patients must fight against the war neuroses in an attempt to heal, but first they must determine what the madness is

Climax Rivers witnesses Dr. Yealland's electro-shock therapy, reflects on his relationship with Sassoon, and is forced to come to terms with his own role as a doctor and the control he wields over his patients

Falling action The Board finalizes Sassoon's decision to return to active military duty in France; Sassoon leaves and Rivers reflects on how he has been changed by his patient

Themes Madness; love between men; parenthood; duty

Motifs Regeneration; emasculation

Symbols Mutism; trenches; the graveyard

Foreshadowing Pointing out the flooded cave on their walk foreshadows that the cave is where Rivers will find Burns in the storm; the dreary, empty hallway at the National Hospital foreshadows the frightening treatment Rivers later witnesses there