All Quiet, Soldier’s Home, and They Shall Not Grow Old all tell stories of soldiers emotions. They recall the events they face and what they feel. They Shall Not Grow Old differ from All Quiet and Soldier’s Home because it is not a written work but a film. It tells a story using photographs, videos, and interviews with many soldiers, not just the imagery we visualize through reading. Despite being from different sides of the war, all of these story share a few common grounds.
One similarity between the film and All Quiet was when the soldiers were in hand to hand combat and killed someone. In They Shall Not Grow Old, the soldier told the story of when he killed a German Soldier and he felt sorry for him. In the moment they were not enemies but men watching another die. The soldiers gave him water, he thanked the soldier and passed away. Similarly, In All Quiet, Paul was in a hand to hand combat and stabbed an enemy. He didn’t know what to do because he has never killed someone this close before. Because the soldier did not die quickly, Paul cannot do anything but take care of him until he dies. Paul discovers the soldier has a family and wrote a letter to them that he killed him. In both scenarios, they both feel bad for killing the opponent and was broken by it.
Another similarity between the film and Soldier’s Home was the fact that when the soldiers came home, they didn’t know what to do with themselves. In They Shall Not Grow Old, the soldiers interviewed explained that once the war was over, they couldn’t find jobs because they serve no commercial value. Many boys grew up in the war, therefore they do not have experience in the world. Like the film, Krebs couldn’t find himself working, to the point where his mother started pointing out that he should become successful like his friends. “The boys are settling down; they’re all determined to get somewhere; you can see that boys like Charlie Simmons are on their way to being really a credit to the community.” (page 6) To the veterans, they cannot be of value to society because all they could not grow out of the war.