Late that night, Sassoon returns to the hospital and is sent up to talk with Rivers. Rivers is angered that Sassoon was so disrespectful to the Board; he demands a reason why he walked out. Sassoon apologizes and admits that he was afraid. He had no idea where he was going or how he would get there when the Board's decision had been made. Sassoon told Rivers that he considered going down to London to see Dr. Mercier, another prominent psychiatrist, to get a second opinion. In case Sassoon went back to France and continued his protest, he figured that the government would try to make the excuse that he had a relapse of mental problems. With opinions from two prominent psychiatrists that he is sane, Sassoon thought he would be better protected. Nevertheless, Sassoon assures Rivers that he does want to go back to France. Rivers promises to do what he can to make that possible.

Analysis

Within Regeneration there are many plot lines going on at once, some of which intersect in important places and some of which they do not intersect at all. Structurally, the novel is separated into four main parts, each containing several chapters. Within those chapters, the story is further broken down, switching from scene to scene in order to keep up on all the plot lines. For example, in Chapter 17, the scenes change four times: Sarah and her mother, Sassoon and Graves, Sarah and her female friends, and finally Sassoon and Rivers each consecutively take the spotlight. Barker uses this technique to allow themes to carry across plot lines and characters. In Chapter 17, Sarah is upset when she hears about Betty's botched abortion, fearing that she herself might end up in the same situation. Similarly, after hearing about Peter, Sassoon is worried that he too might be sent for punishment for his homosexuality. By having unprotected or illicit sex, respectively, both Sarah and Sassoon endanger themselves. Together, they face a similar fear of societal condemnation. The narrative design of the chapter allows Barker to present these problems as situations for comparison, subtly allowing us to draw our own conclusions.

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