Krebs and Paul Comparison

In Soldier’s Home and a part of All Quiet on the Western Front, both authors display the inner ordeals that soldiers had to fight through on their leave from the battles. While every experience is different, there are some that can overlap, showing similar challenges soldiers may face. While both boys enlisted in the military, they had polar opposite reactions to fighting in the war. Krebs liked fighting in the war because it was exciting for him while Paul was traumatized by the loss of his friends. Something that both boys had in common was that they did not want to talk about their experience in the war, however, for different reasons. Because Krebs arrived home later than most soldiers, no one wanted to hear war stories because it was boring, so to be listened to, he made up stories to be more engaging. Paul did not want to talk about the war because it was “dangerous for me to put into words” (page 165) and because he doesn’t want to bring forth the terrible memories that are associated with it. The town both characters grew up in hasn’t changed since they left, only how they view the world that has changed. The effect of the war led to different treatment of their own family members. While Paul, who still cared about his family knew that eventually they would have to part again, spent most of his time with them, Krebs could not express the same. It seemed the war had made him numb without him realizing and caused Krebs to choose not to express any love for anyone, not even his mother. “I do not love anybody” (page 7) 

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