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Pat Barker: Regeneration

4. Chapters 5-7: “And all. That. Rubbish”

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore Chapters 5-7 of the novel, including Rivers’ long reflection on a disturbing dream he has had (“The dream was an unusually accurate reproduction of events that had actually occurred”), including a reflection on the nature of masculinity (“These emotions… could be admitted into consciousness only at the cost of redefining what it meant to be a man”), Prior’s quoting of Tennyson’s ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ and his reflection on the nature of heroism (“And all. That. Rubbish”), and the conversation between Bryce, Brock, and Rivers on the nature of Sassoon’s condition (“Sassoon does seem to be a remarkably protopathic young man. Doesn’t he?”)


In this course, we explore Pat Barker’s ‘Regeneration’. Set in 1917 in Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh, the novel follows psychiatrist William Rivers as he treats shell-shocked soldiers, including the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. This course sees Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) read through novel chapter-by-chapter, focusing on key moments and episodes in the novel, thinking about the wider themes and issues with which this rich, complex, and enjoyable novel is engaged.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Pat Barker: Regeneration - Chapters 5-7: “And all. That. Rubbish” [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Pat Barker: Regeneration – Chapters 5-7: “And all. That. Rubbish”." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,