Comparison between Soldier’s Home and All Quiet on the Wester Front

 

Soldiers Home by Ernest Hemingway and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque have many similarity’s and differences between the two main characters Harold Krebs and Paul Baumer and what they experienced in their life.

Harold Krebs was a soldier from World War 1. Krebs and Paul Baumer were fighting from different sides of the war but ended up sharing many things, for example, Paul and Krebs were both school boys, meaning they were both young. Yet the biggest difficulty they shared was the isolating loneliness after coming back from the war, the feeling that they were not like the rest of the people in their town/village or they where not their old selves. “I am not myself here.” (Page 75) was said by Paul when he got home. It’s not that they didn’t want to be its just after fighting in the war they changed and could not go back to their old selves. Another similarity is the way that the authors symbolized the loss of love in the characters’ lives. After being in the war and seeing so many of their close friends being killed they probably couldn’t take it and decided to suppress their emotions. This was most likely a defence mechanism that soldiers had after the war to make sure they wouldn’t be hurt again, and so the the whole aspect of war would be easier if they couldn’t feel any emotional pain. Krebs says to his mother when confronted about love “I do not love anybody.” (Page 6). And for Paul, he shares the same thoughts “I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear.” (Page 139)

Though the books were about the same message, they had quite a few differences. Like the fact that Krebs had actually enjoyed the war and the excitement it had where as for Paul it was the opposite. After Paul gets on the train to go back home he says “Suddenly i become filled with a consuming impatience to be gone” (page 72) where as for Krebs it was “He did not want to leave Germany. He did not was to come home.” (Page 3)  Soldiers Home had also a more religious side to  “god has some work for everyone to do,” his mother said….”I’m not in His Kingdom,” Krebs said.” (Page 6) some more important differences in this book are the status of the characters and their families, in Soldiers Home they made it clear that Krebs’ family wanted to impress others in their town and cared about the girls Kerbs would be with (the nice girls vs the bad girls) in one part Kerbs mother said “you can see that boys like Charley Simmons are on their was to being really a credit to the community.” (Page 6) In this passage, she is Implying that Krebs should be more involved in their community just like the boy named Charley.

In conclusion, when you compare the short story Soldiers Home to All Quiet on the Western Front, you will realize that even though they are different books about different people who fight on different sides, the writers created many similarities and differences for these two characters.

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