Harold Krebs vs Paul Baumer:

Susie Black

Harold Krebs vs Paul Baumer:

       The main characters from the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and from the story Soldiers Home by Ernest Hemingway have many similarities but also many differences. The main similarity being that neither of them truly felt at home when returning. But the primary difference between them, was that Krebs wanted to talk about the war and his experiences on the front whereas Baumer didn’t.

       When Paul returned home for the first time, he found out his mom was sick. Not only was she sick but he kept getting questions asked from his dad, in particular about what it looked like living at the front. Paul didn’t want to talk about his experiences because it was traumatic and something he’d rather forget about but unfortunately that’s not possible with the constant questioning. Because of those two main factors, and the fact that he realized he’ll never be the same as before the war, he is left with a feeling that his “home”, is no longer his home. In real life, many soldiers had similar experiences, and had the same feeling of not being at home anymore, or that they are not the same person as before the war.

       Harold had a similar yet different experience. When he went home, he felt as though nothing had changed; except for him. He, unlike Paul, wanted to talk about what had happened on the front. But no one was asking because to them, since they didn’t experience what he had, didn’t care enough to ask. And because of that, he felt like it wasn’t his home anymore. This was the same feeling as Paul; the feeling of being lost.

       That is primarily what they had in common, the fact that neither of them felt at home after returning from the front. With all that they’ve seen they still coped differently; Paul by keeping to himself what had happened, and Harold by sharing what had happened so that people could help him and understand what he went through. But neither of them truly got what they’d wanted.

       Overall, both of these stories had a very real outlook on what life during and after war was like yet with a comforting fictional element. The aftereffects it had on soldiers; typically resulting in PTSD and feeling of being invisible or not valued.

These stories demonstrated the unfortunate truth of war.

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