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Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

It often happens that people’s past has its pernicious and destructive influence on their present preventing them from being healed from received injures especially the mental ones. This problem is described in a famous trilogy by Pat Barker. The trilogy speaks about the life of military people during the First World War, their hardships and troubles affecting their lives in the most negative ways. One of such characters depicted in the trilogy is Billy Prior who suffers from a mental disorder the reason of mental injuries which he happened to have during the war.

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In the following paper, Prior’s journey to being healed from war neurosis will be examined along with his obstacles on it, and all the troublesome situations that happened to him in the past which had their pernicious on his present. Generally, it appears that Billy Prior seems to overcome his major mental problems of his by the end of the trilogy, and still such injuries could hardly be overcome to the full extent as when it comes to recovering from psychological traumas received during wars it appears that they leave their bad trace in the person’s mind and heart forever…

First of all, speaking about Prior troubles in overcoming his mental disorder which he happened to have as a result of war, it is important to address all the obstacles impeding his being healed from this sad condition. In particular, as the reader follows through the events described in the trilogy both in the narrative and in Priory’s diary entries, it appears that the main obstacles preventing the character from recovering are seen in his horrific memories. The man seems to be chased by these memories everywhere; they do not leave him both in the reality of his daily activities and, what is more ruining, in his dreams.

Billy Prior’s condition becomes more severe as he is haunted by all the faces of people who became victims of this terrible and pointless war. The character is also very much affected by his experience of interacting with headhunters while his experience in the South Pacific. The reader may observe the ruining effect of these troublesome experiences in the character’s words; for example, the following world by Prior seems to show the very depth of his inner world being affected by all the cruel events he had to become a witness of: “The mess has scuffed no-color lino — the color of misery if misery has a color….” (Barker 114)

Further, with regards to the question of whether Prior is able to succeed to overcome his obstacles by the end of the trilogy, it should be stated that it seems to be sort of an ambiguous one when it comes to such matters as recovering from psychological traumas received during wars it appears that they leave their bad trace in the person’s mind and heart forever. With regards to this, it can be said that though Billy Prior seems to overcome the major mental problems he happened to have as a result of his mental traumas received during the war, his condition at the end of the trilogy could still be evaluated as rather a problematic one.

In conclusion, people’s past has its pernicious effect on their present as it appears to be evident from Prior’s case described in the trilogy by Pat Barker dedicated to the sad events of the days of World War I. Studying the development of the story plot, it appears that Prior has many obstacles impeding his journey to healing from war neurosis including psychological traumas received as a result of seeing terrible events happening during the war. Mainly, Billy Prior’s condition at the end of the trilogy appears to be very much improved, and still, such deep mental injuries could hardly be overcome to the full extent.

Works Cited

Barker, Pat. The Ghost Road, The United States: Plume, 1996. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 21). Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/priors-war-neurosis-in-the-ghost-road-by-pat-barker/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 21). Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker. https://studycorgi.com/priors-war-neurosis-in-the-ghost-road-by-pat-barker/

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"Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker." StudyCorgi, 21 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/priors-war-neurosis-in-the-ghost-road-by-pat-barker/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker." December 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/priors-war-neurosis-in-the-ghost-road-by-pat-barker/.


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StudyCorgi. "Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker." December 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/priors-war-neurosis-in-the-ghost-road-by-pat-barker/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker." December 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/priors-war-neurosis-in-the-ghost-road-by-pat-barker/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Prior’s War Neurosis in The Ghost Road by Pat Barker'. 21 December.

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