Comparison of “All quiet on the Western Front” and “Soldier’s Home’

The stories of Paul Baumer (All quiet on the Western Front) and Krebs (Soldier’s Home) have various similarities and differences that compare and contrast with each other. The two stories both share the same genre and setting – a historical fiction based on World War One. Both of the characters have been put in the same situation, regardless of their position and the side of the war. They both experience the same conflicts and problems resulting from this major conflict.  In “all quiet on the Western Front”, the main character (Paul Baumer) while fighting for Germany, goes through the experience of fighting in the war, suffering both physically and mentally. He has put all of his past life behind him and was forced to join the war. He has lost his past identity – a normal teenager well on his way to adulthood.

We are forlorn like children and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.”

This shows that he did not feel comfortable about it and further shows the transition of his identity – from being a young man to a soldier that fights for the country. He has gone through this for years – ending it with a peaceful death. 

On the other hand, in the short story “Soldier’s home”, the main character (Krebs) is introduced as an American soldier that has participated in World War One. He has suffered through the same conflicts as any other soldier did; however, he ended up being more comfortable on the battlefield compared to his lonely past life. of the lies, he had told.

“All of the times that had been able to make him feel cool and clear inside himself when he thought of them; the times so long back when he had done the one thing, the only thing for a man to do, easily and naturally, when he might have done something else, now lost their cool, valuable quality and then were lost themselves.”

This shows that Kreb’s past life was rather miserable – up to the point where the experience of war was comparably better. He felt the actual “use” of himself – something that he did not feel before the war. This contrasts with the perspective of Paul Baumer, who did not like being in the war at all. 

Both Paul and Krebs went through the same war at the same time. They both had similarities as well as differences in perspective and point of view. Nonetheless, they have suffered through the war – something that we would not be able to completely understand and experience throughout our lives.  

Jm. Y- 2022/10/11

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