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War and the MindFord Madox Ford's Parade's End, Modernism, and Psychology$
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Ashley Chantler and Rob Hawkes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694266

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694266.001.0001

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Representing Shell Shock

Representing Shell Shock

A Return to Ford and Rebecca West

(p.127) Chapter 8 Representing Shell Shock
War and the Mind

Charlotte Jones

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines Ford’s Parade’s End in comparison to Rebecca’s West’s earlier novella, The Return of the Soldier, exploring the different ways in which their respective protagonists ‘work through’ the psychological and emotional legacy of war. Opening with an initial survey of contemporary responses to the newly-emergent condition ‘shell shock’ – medical definitions, military classifications and the emerging field of psychoanalysis as theorised by Freud and W. H. R. Rivers – the chapter goes on to discuss Ford and West’s engagement with these discourses in their fiction as both attempt to imagine the possibilities for the reintegration of the mind after the return from war. It concludes by exploring the ways in which this paradigm of psychological trauma contributes to the authors’ literary modernism.

Keywords:   Ford Madox Ford, Rebecca West, Parade’s End, The Return of the Soldier, Shell shock, Psychoanalysis, Freud, W. H. R. Rivers

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