Soldier’s Home

Paul Baummer and Harrold Krebs were both soldiers who fought during WW1 on different sides. Although they both went through similar experiences, they both had different perspectives and opinions on the war. One shared opinion is the impact the war had on the two soldiers when they tried to adapt back to their old lives. They both found that the war had changed them in ways that made it hard for them to return to their old life.

What distinguishes Krebs from Baummer is his positive outlook on the war. Krebs found that the adrenalin rush he got from the life-or-death experiences in the war made returning to the simple, and relaxed way of life, unfulfilling and boring. Krebs also talks about how the war taught him only to lookout for himself which resulted with Krebs having a more solitary way of life. For example, on page 6 Krebs says, “I don’t love anybody.” From this short line it shows the separation Krebs has from his emotions and how the war has hindered his ability to emotionally connect to another person. If he can’t connect to people around him, how can he return to his normal life.

Similarly, in All Quiet on the Western Front we see that Baummer has a similar reaction to returning to his old life even though, opposite to Krebs, he had a negative reaction to the war. When Paul returns to his home he says,

“I prefer to be alone, so that no one troubles me. For they all come back to the same thing, how badly it goes and how well it goes; one thinks it is this way, another that; and yet they are always absorbed in the things that go to make up their existence. Formerly I lived in just the same way myself, but now I feel no contact here.” p. 168

Just like Krebs, Baummer talks about feeling disconnected and alone when he returns to his home. All though these two soldiers had different reactions to the war, they both ended up feeling detached and isolated from their previous life.

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