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A Comparison Between the Sentry and Regeneration Essay


Both Pat Barker and Wilfred Owen are superb at developing our sensory perception of what it feels like to be in distressing or horrifying situations. Write about how this is achieved in the Sentry and the extract in Regeneration when Aldeburgh is attacked by a violent storm that drives Burns almost to suicide (pages 175-180)


The Sight and smells

Physical and mental affects on the participants that reflect the reality and their situation

How do we get the sense of being there

The Sentry by Wilfred Owen is very similar to the extract on pages 175- 180 in Pat Barkers novel, Regeneration in exemplifying what it feels like to be in distressing or horrifying situations during the War.

In order to develop the readers sensory perception of experiencing the characters pain and anguish felt in the novel and the poem, both writers use sound effects to create an impact on the audience. Using harsh sounding onomatopoeic words in The Sentry such as whiz and slush is a good technique by Owen to emphasise certain phrases of dislike and distress caused to the characters set in the poem. Which similarly highlights in Barkers novel Regeneration where onomatopoeia is used to stress to the readers the characters horrifying situations; this is evident in Rivers boot that had squelched on fish guts. Without the use of using strong onomatopoeic words, the writers effect on the audience would not have been as great as there would be a minimal chance of the readers developing their sensory perception based upon the sound effects. When verbally spoken, both the novel and the poem have strong sound effects that have been purposely included by the writers. Strong uses of assonances are observed in The Sentry as Owen describes how the soldiers choked up the steps too thick with clay to climb. The strong use of choked, thick and clay to climb all create a harsh sounding sound upon the readers tongue that develop the sensory perception as the sounds the lexis are creating, corresponds with the distress that is being witnessed in the poem. This is also evident in Regeneration when Rivers jerked his head back as Barker uses strong assonance to emphasise anguish to the reader. If both writers were to use softer lexis, then it may be argued that the readers sensory perception would not be as impacted as it would be with harsh, strong sound effects.

Wind and rain is also present in the extract from Regeneration and in the poem, The Sentry. In The Sentry, the rain is used as the catalyst of distressing to the audience the horrifying situations the soldiers were faced with, Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime. The lexical word choice of slime is Owens way of presenting to the audiences sensory perception of the way that in the War, even the rain is guttering down in a horrific manner and it also creates a strong visual image to the reader; which again, strengthens the sensory perception Owen creates by using the weather. Similarly in Regeneration, Pat Barker uses the wind to create a strong sensory perception with the reader and also show a change in circumstances as the next morning the weather had changed which is symbolic for bad times arising for the characters of the novel. This use of symbolism occurs again when Barker explains how the wind had risen during the night, sweeping away the last remnants of mist, this illustrates how Barker is presenting to the readers sensory perception as something horrific is going to happen to one of the characters.

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