Essay about The Therapeutic Value of Charlie Chaplin

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The Therapeutic Value of Charlie Chaplin

Pat Barker's Regeneration represents a part of history for the First World War. Regeneration is an antiwar novel held together by people, places, and cultural references. Charlie Chaplin is a cultural reference used within the novel. Barker refers to Chaplin on page 60 in the novel. When the wounded and dysfunctional soldiers watch a Charlie Chaplin film at the Craiglockhart War Hospital. During the war Charlie Chaplin films were therapeutic for the soldiers, and showing one of his films helps develop the theme of therapy that occurs throughout the novel. Even though Chaplin was unable to participate in the war, he helped boost the morale of the soldiers that were in it. Barker utilizes
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After the downpour of letters Chaplin wanted to show that he wanted to be a man of the world, a soldier, so he decided to show his loyalty to the United States by going to sign up at a recruiting office. According to Tony Napolo, Chaplin declared, "I am willing to answer to call of my country" (Napolo 45). After all of the public backlash Chaplin received, the U.S. recruiters told him he was underweight and not fit to be a soldier (Napolo 45). While he was unable to participate in the war, Chaplin decided to make films about the war to show his support.

In 1918, Chaplin released Shoulder Arms, a film where he plays a soldier who is drafted into the Army. While in the film he disguises himself as a tree and knocks out enemy soldiers with his branches. In the book British Culture and the First World War, George Robb says Chaplin "endures the rigors of boot camp, bumbles his way across the Western Front and in the end manages to capture the Kaiser in the film" (168). Chaplin's lack of seriousness and his humor was appealing to the soldiers. He helped boost their morale to get them through the trying times of the war, so watching Chaplin films became their therapy.

The reference to the Charlie Chaplin film in Regeneration affects the reader's interpretation of the scene. In the scene from pages 60-62, readers are forced to look at Prior's current situation of flashbacks and memories from the front

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