Phd for Takreem

June 3, 2016 | Author: Rehab Shaban | Category: Topics
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Short Description

Neurosis in Selected plays....





Chapter One: War Neuroses


Chapter Two: Regenerating the Nerves


Chapter Three: The Haunting Eye


Chapter Four: Death and Ghosts




Appendix: Personal Interview with Pat Barker


Selected Bibliography


Acknowledgements Words cannot express how thankful I am to both my distinguished supervisors. I consider myself very fortunate to have had a supervisor like Prof. Galila Ann Ragheb who was always very willing and eager to read my work. Her comments and corrections were invaluable. I really enjoyed the many hours of discussion we had on every chapter. I will be forever grateful for her guidance and constructive comments. I am truly indebted to Prof. Feisal Younis for his insightful reading of my work and for making me appreciate psychology. His remarks were always so positive which boosted my morale and encouraged me to move forward. I seize this opportunity to thank Mr David Marler, former Cultural Representative of the British Council, for providing me with a video tape of Regeneration and helping me to visit London in 2001 to collect material for my thesis. I would like to express my deep gratitude to my dear friends Amel AbouFadl, Salwa El Demerdash and Naglaa Farid for their invaluable help and moral support. Special thanks are also due to my friends who helped me acquire material from abroad: Amani Tawfik, Ahmed Hani, Randa Abou-Bakr, Maher Jarrar and my cousin Yasmine Khalifa.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Prof. Mona El Halawany for her constant encouragement and support throughout the difficult times.

My thanks are also due to my family for putting up with me during all these years of research and anxiety. I am extremely grateful to my parents and my brother for being there for me.

Abbreviations The following abbreviations will be used for reference to the following:




The Eye in the Door


The Ghost Road


A War of Nerves


Conflict and Dream


“An Address on the Repression of War Experience”


Personal Interview with the Author

Preface Pat Barker was born in 1943 in Thornaby-on-Tees near the Northeast industrial town of Middlesbrough as Patricia Margaret Drake. She studied history at the London School of Economics. Barker was formerly a teacher of history and

politics and now she is a highly acclaimed British novelist. In 1969 she met her future husband, David Barker, and they were married in 1978. He encouraged her to write and supported her throughout her career.

After attending a creative

writing course in 1979 given by Angela Carter, Barker‟s writing career was successfully launched. She began writing in the 1980s and has written novels that chronicle the lives of working class women and men in England‟s industrial North West. Her first novel, Union Street (1982) won the Fawcett Prize in 1983. This novel was made into a film by the name of Stanley and Iris in 1990, starring Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro. The novels Blow Your House Down (1984), Liza’s England (formerly The Century’s Daughter 1986) and The Man who Wasn’t There (1988) followed suit and were also quite successful. There was more success in store for Barker in the 1990s. Moving from regional subjects to the Great War in the Trilogy, Barker‟s career took a new and daring turn.

This thesis examines Pat Barker‟s Trilogy: Regeneration (1991), The Eye in the Door (1993) winner of the Guardian Prize for Fiction, and The Ghost Road (1995). They were republished in 1996 in one volume entitled The Regeneration Trilogy after winning the 1995 Booker Prize for The Ghost Road. This research analyzes the novels from a psychological perspective. It examines the traumatic repercussions of the Great War on the characters as they develop symptoms of war

neuroses. Barker has written three more novels since the Booker namely: Another World (1998), Border Crossing (2001), and Double Vision (2003).

Some of

Barker‟s novels were translated into a number of languages: Danish, Japanese, Hebrew and Italian. Critics tend to divide Barker‟s work into two distinct phases from 1982 1991 and from 1991 to the present day. The first phase represents novels which deal largely with struggling working class women in northern England whereas the second phase reveals a shift in Barker‟s focus from women to men (Monteith, Pat Barker 2). From the regional Barker moved to the vast subject of the Great War and the effect of violence in general on human beings.

Monteith notes the

connection between the two phases which is Barker‟s preoccupation with stress and violence and their effect on both the individual and society (Pat Barker 1).

The Trilogy was well received by the public which demonstrated a: renewed focus on war and remembrance, …[and] joined an explosion of “remembrance” exhibits of war photography, films, documentaries, oral history projects to record the memories of veterans, and fairly elaborate anniversary events to commemorate the beginning and end of the war (Westman 667). The popularity of Barker‟s Trilogy has made her a spokesperson on this subject: “Barker is frequently asked to comment on the First World War in her interviews,

and Regeneration has become a reference point for the war” (Westman 67). Moreover, in 1997 Regeneration was adapted to the silver screen and directed by the well known British director Gillies Mackinnon – in America it was released as Behind the Lines. The film premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1997 and in the same year opened the British Renaissance sidebar at the Venice Film Festival. Barker chose to write about the Great War seventy years after its termination as it haunts her imagination as it still does that of so many writers, historians and novelists. Peter Parker writes, “… the insistence with which the war tugs at our consciousness is acknowledged by Pat Barker in her observation that „It [the war] revealed things we cannot come to terms with and cannot forget. It never becomes the past‟ ” (4). Barker also explains that another reason for her choosing to write about this war is “…because it‟s come to stand in for other wars… It‟s come to stand for the pain of all wars” (qtd. in Westman 16). On a number of occasions she has also said that writing about this war in particular is „autobiographical‟. When living with her grandparents she was deeply influenced by her grandfather‟s experience in the Great War and the bayonet wound he received. She adds that her father‟s “disappearance from my life was always accounted for in terms of his being posted missing [in WW2] … the truth is he posted himself missing. So war






for me” (“Author of the Month” 3). The Trilogy belongs to the category of historical novels although Barker has some reservations regarding this term; “because it suggests that the novel‟s events are past, no longer a part of the present” (Westman 16). Barker explains to interviewer Candice Rodd, “I don‟t accept that [they]… are historical novels… They are about a period of the world‟s history that we have never come to terms with” (qtd. in Westman 16). The novels were also published when the Gulf War “dominated readers‟ reactions to the effects of war, through debates about Gulf War Syndrome, and so comments indirectly on contemporary conflict and the need to address society‟s expectations of combatants” (Monteith, Pat Barker 55). The Trilogy thus evokes the past and enlightens the present. A brief survey of some of the popular novels written on the Great War is called for. The first novel written was Henri Barbusse‟s Le Feu (Under Fire) published in 1917. A year later in England Rebecca West published The Return of the Soldier – which is the first English novel to deal with war neuroses. The main protagonist Chris Baldry in this novel is an upper-class officer who suffers from selective amnesia as a result of his war experience and his artificial and sterile life before the war. Baldry can only remember his life fifteen years earlier and his love for a working class sweetheart. Yet he is the only psychological case in this work.

In 1925 Virginia Woolf finished writing Mrs Dalloway after reading Siegfried Sassoon‟s war poetry and meeting the poet in person in 1924. In this work Woolf portrays Septimus Smith who is psychologically disturbed by the war and commits suicide. She used her own personal experience of depression to draw the shell shocked soldier.

In 1929 a number of novels appeared on the war: Erich

Remarque‟s All Quiet on the Western Front, Edmund Blunden‟s Undertones of War, Robert Graves‟s Goodbye to All That and Ernest Hemingway‟s A Farewell to Arms. Siegfried Sassoon‟s Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man was published in 1928, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer came out in 1930 and Sherston’s Progress in 1936. Ten years later Sassoon wrote Siegfried’s Journey.

All the above works

enlightened civilians to the grave catastrophes of the war and exposed military leaders. Some fine contemporary novels were written about the Great War to mention but a few: Susan Hill‟s Strange Meeting (1971), Jennifer Johnston‟s How Many Miles to Babylon (1974), Timothy Findley‟s The Wars (1977) William Boyd‟s An Ice-Cream War (1988) and Sebastian Faulk‟s Birdsong (1993). Barker‟s contribution in this war Trilogy lies in the fact that she lays special emphasis on the psychological damage of war on soldiers. Her achievement lies in the fact that she covered most of the prevalent symptoms of war neuroses in her Trilogy. As Sharon Monteith remarks, “It is the psychological chaos of war which

interests Barker most of all” (“Warring Fiction” 128-9). Barker explained her choice of approach in the personal interview conducted by the present researcher: There are so many books on war and what I didn‟t want to write was a pseudo-combatant book where you simply read up on the First World War and you try to write as if you‟ve been there, so I wanted to do something different from that. I wanted to do it from the point of view of Rivers above all, who knows an awful lot about the trenches but has never actually been there ... So this gave me the perspective I needed to do something more original than simply copying the books of people who‟ve been there (PI 249- 250). In an anonymous interview Barker remarks: I always knew I wanted to write about the First World War and I couldn‟t find a way of doing it that hadn‟t already been done. There are so many great books about it including the books of those that had actually fought in the trenches. I found my way through the character of William Rivers who is a psychiatrist dealing with the psychiatric casualties of the war. Because he was in uniform but a non-combatant and because I was in a sense dealing with history of psychiatry rather than with the battlefield, I got a slightly different slant on it, a slant which helped me get my own voice (“Author of the Month” 3).

She intended in this Trilogy to deal with war indirectly; very few scenes take place in the trenches. It is through the characters‟ retelling of their experiences in the

trenches that the readers get snapshots of the war. It is only in the last volume of the Trilogy that Barker moves to the Front. In all the critical works on Pat Barker there is no comprehensive study of war neurosis in the Trilogy. Therefore, this study aspires to provide a thorough analysis of the various manifestations of neuroses and the psychological scars sustained by the characters fighting in the Great War. The theoretical approach of the thesis will be based mainly on the views of various psychiatrists practicing during and after that period as well as contemporary historians and critics who dealt with war neuroses. There will be a brief reference to military psychiatry before and after the First World War. The thesis will focus mainly on the views of Dr W. H. R. Rivers, a renowned psychiatrist during that period, who appears as a fictional character in Barker‟s Trilogy. This study examines characters suffering from symptoms of war neuroses and provides a literary analysis of the technical aspects in the novels. The thesis is divided into four chapters. Chapter one presents a theoretical background on war neuroses. Among the major psychiatrists, historians and critics dealt with are: W. H. R. Rivers, Sigmund Freud, Ernst Simmel, Ben Shephard, Wendy Holden, Hans Binneveld, Eric Leed, and Elaine Showalter. Each novel will be analyzed in a separate chapter with cross references to the other novels. The conclusion sums up

the findings of the thesis.

A personal interview conducted by the present

researcher with the author Pat Barker is included in an appendix.

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