His acknowledgement of his memories after finding out, through hypnosis, that he had cleaned up the two men’s bodies from the trench after a shell had hit consisted of ‘Is that all?..
. I’ve cleaned up dozens of trenches. ‘ The experience of finding a dead mans prominent blue eyeball on the floor is in anyone else’s opinion a stressful one, but Prior does not understand why this particular incident was his breaking point. Something inside him wanted it to be ‘the worst thing’ of having caused the deaths of his own men, as this is the only way he could accept his breakdown.It can be clearly seen that although his breakdown can be easily accepted by others at Craiglockhart his family, especially his father, would have more ‘sympathy’ for him is he had a physical symptom. Barker does not only show the snobbery that exists but also uses Priors father to explore the inverted snobbery voiced by the working class. ‘I’m not proud.
He should’ve stuck with his own. ‘ Sarah’s mother is also a woman who just sees Prior as an officer even though he comes from the same background as her.It is due to these openly voiced opinions that Prior resents being given ‘permanent home service’. He knows that he will be considered some form of coward to his father and his class and would prefer to go back to the trenches, despite his severe asthma, rather than face them.
This is also teamed with the conflict of knowing the futility of the war and the idea that when you put on the uniform you sign a contract. Prior is also present to give first hand accounts of the hostility and that class determines how ‘welcome’ you are on the front.This ranges from being able to ride a horse bare back with your hands behind your head to your shirts being the right shade of khaki, of which Prior’s are nowhere near ‘borderline’. ‘And all. That. Rubbish.
‘ By splitting the words into short, punchy syllables Barker accentuates the passion that Prior feels for the topic. The words stand out individually to give more impact as a statement rather than a comment. Barker often uses techniques like this in Prior’s speeches, along with the short temper she created him with, to underline and intensify the points that he makes