Compare the Portrayal of Woman in Regeneration and Journey's End

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Compare Barkers portrayal of women with that of Sherriff’s When WW1 began in 1914, women in Britain were still very much the oppressed gender. Campaigns for women to be allowed the vote were well established. However, throughout the war, women began to take on more masculine roles and were seen to transform into strong-minded individuals. This is greatly portrayed in Regeneration, where Pat Barker presents woman’s involvement in war work, showing their growth in independence, freedom, influence and role in society. Whilst women do not appear on the stage in ‘Journey’s end’, they are referenced to by the other male characters. The three main female characters that are mentioned in the play are Madge, Osborne’s wife and Trotter’s wife. Madge is shown to be the most important character that does not appear on stage. The audience only hears about her through Raleigh and Stanhope. R.C Sherriff uses Madge as a representation of how women should be protected from the grim truth and realities of the war through Stanhope’s fear or her finding out about his alcohol addiction. Compared to ‘Journey’s End’, although the focus of the novel is based on the male perspective, there is a small, but important female presence in ‘Regeneration.’ By introducing Sarah Lamb and her friends, Barker allows female perspectives to be considered in a male dominated situation on the war. Sarah Lumb represents the change in life experience and attitudes for women as a result of the war experiences. “Sarah worked in a factory....making detonators. Twelve hour shifts, six days a week, but she liked the work...and it was well paid. “Fifty Bob a weeks ..... [she] was earning ten bob before the war”’. Throughout ‘Regeneration’ and ‘Journey’s End’ women are portrayed in different ways in that Barker exposes women to the reality of the war whereas Sherriff shows woman as inferior and sticking

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