Reading the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and then also reading Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemingway I noticed similarities between the main characters, Paul and Krebs, both who fought in the war yet on different sides. though I noticed similarities I also noticed how some things were different, the attitude of the characters I suppose.
“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.” (page 1, Soldier’s Home)
This excerpt form Soldier’s home explained how Krebs, unlike Paul, actually seemed to enjoy the war, it made him feel at ease and clear. Krebs found that war was not awful, he found it was better then being at home. Paul on the other hand as written in several parts of the book, hated to war, and though Paul also didn’t feel at like he belonged when he went back home, he did not find the war good at all. Thus, it shows how there are similarities yet also differences.
“Suddenly my mother takes my hand and asks falteringly: “Was it bad out there Paul?” Mother, what should I answer to that! You would not understand, you could never realize it. Was it bad, you ask. – You, Mother, – I shake my head and say: “No, Mother, not so very.-” (page 161, All Quiet on the Western Front)
The above excerpt shows how like Krebs, Paul lied about how the war was, he didn’t want to frighten his mother. The difference between what they lied about was Paul tried to not make them worry, while Krebs, he enjoyed the war, lied about how he actually viewed the war, not wanting to seem weird for liking it.
Krebs and Paul are different because while Paul has an extremely negative view on war, Krebs has the exact opposite. Though they are also similar as they both feel alone and unconnected to their home.
Overall, though Krebs and Paul had different experiences when they came home, they still shared similarities such as feeling lonely and almost out of place.
Eva Salvador-Brown, Soldier’s Home.