Sarah, Lizzie, and the other munitions workers are talking on their tea break. Sarah mentions how she was disappointed that Prior never came on Sunday to pick her up as she expected him to. Lizzie answers that she is dreading the time her husband will have to be on leave this weekend. She says, ironically, that on August 4, 1914, "peace" broke out for her; she could have her own money and be free of her abusive husband when he left for the war. She does not look forward to his return.

Rivers examines a new patient named Willard. Willard received his injuries when his company was retreating across a graveyard under heavy fire and some pieces of gravestone were shot into his back and buttocks. He believes he has a physical injury to his spine, yet all the doctors have said there is nothing wrong with him. Nevertheless, Willard is unable to move the lower half of his body. Rivers suggests to him that his paralysis may be due to a psychological block. Willard is reluctant to believe it is anything but physical.

Sassoon makes a trip to Rivers's Conservative Club. As he waits for Rivers, he overhears two older men discuss their sons at the front and he builds up a hatred for them, for the men who only sit and talk while others fight. But Sassoon soon feels sickened by himself. He realizes that, by agreeing to go to Craiglockhart, he is no longer protesting or doing anything to help his fellow soldiers: he has been pacified. When Rivers arrives, they sit down to a meal.

Rivers reflects how much easier it would have been if Sassoon were not his patient. Sassoon forces him to make justifications for the war every day. Rivers truly believes that it is the war, and not man's innate weakness, that has caused all the mental problems he treated. This viewpoint means that Rivers has had to convince himself that the war justifies such destruction of men's minds.

Rivers notices that Sassoon is in a very depressed state; he has just received word that two of his close friends have died. Rivers reflects that the experience of these young men in some ways "parallels the experience of the very old. They look back on intense memories and feel lonely because there is no one alive who has been there." Rivers thinks it will be quite a hard job to get Sassoon back to the front; he admits that he must convince him because he respects him too much to manipulate him.

Rivers returns to the hospital to find Willard in a wheelchair stranded at the bottom of a hill, with Mrs. Willard by his side. She is not strong enough to push him back up the hill. Rivers notes Willard's look of powerlessness and frustration. Rivers then helps Mrs. Willard push the chair back up to the top of the hill.

PLUS

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