The Effects Of War In The Return Of The Soldier

Improved Essays
In The Return of The Soldier, Chris experiences war in a literal way by leaving his home and entering war and going through the traumatic events soldiers go through. Chris experiences both physical and emotional trauma in the book, but not being in the middle of war does not mean someone can’t be affected the same way. Chris being in the war affected Kitty just as much, yet she was affected more emotionally than physically. In the beginning, Kitty acts positive about the situation that she is in, Kitty speaks: ‘‘if a woman began to worry in these days because her husband hadn’t written her for a fortnight!’’ (3). Though Chris hadn’t contacted her; she acts as though she is not worried—because if something were to happen to Chris, she would …show more content…
From the moment Chris first sees Kitty again after coming home from war she knows that she means nothing to him. He has forgotten all that he had loved about her. Kitty says: ‘’I am your wife’’ (22), to remind him and as he tries to put on an act, she knows there’s no use in that moment because he doesn’t have a clue who she is. Throughout the book, Kitty puts on a tough face. During this time, that was needed, it was now the woman’s turn to take care of the men, after the war and during, roles were now switched. Though Kitty had never been in the war with Chris, or experienced things in a physical way like Chris had, she suffered all the repercussions that came with Chris coming home, and seeing what he went through and what his pain caused both of their lives. Their lives may have looked perfect if one was on the outside looking in, but they suffered losing a child, and having a loved one go off to …show more content…
If he hadn’t lost his memory, Margaret wouldn’t have come back into the picture, which would have taken much of the stress and problems away from Kitty and Jenny’s lives, but it would mean Chris would have never come home and anything worse could have happened to him. Pinkerton states: ‘’Chris is undergoing something still, that the trauma itself cannot be traced to a specific incident or point in time but rather continues to occur’’ (4). Pinkerton also writes: ‘’But West hints in various ways that trauma predates Oliver’’ (3). A lot of the trauma that Chris faced, had been a long time coming according to Pinkerton: ‘’(was their whole marriage traumatic?)’’ (3), When Frank went to go see Chris after hearing about his concussion he received during war, when Chris was informed of his marriage with Kitty, he didn’t sound thrilled when Frank described who he had been married to for the last ten years. Chris goes off: ‘’I don’t like little women, and I hate anybody, male or female, who sings. O God, I don’t like this Kitty. Take her

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    If Chris had not lost his memory, Margaret would not have come back into the picture, which could have taken much of the stress and problems away from Kitty and Jenny’s lives for the time being, but it would mean Chris would have never come home and anything worse could have happened to him. Pinkerton states: ‘’Chris is undergoing something still, that the trauma itself cannot be traced to a specific incident or point in time but rather continues to occur’’ (4). Pinkerton also writes: ‘’But West hints in various ways that trauma predates Oliver’’ (3). A lot of the trauma that Chris faced, had been a long time coming according to Pinkerton: ‘’(was their whole marriage traumatic? )’’ (3), When Frank went to go see Chris after hearing about his concussion he received during the war, when Chris was informed of his marriage with Kitty, he did not sound thrilled in the least when Frank described who he had been married to for the last ten years.…

    • 1621 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In this backdrop, we can see the contrast in how people who stayed back and veterans perceive the world. The only people Krebs was a 'hero' to were his little sisters. His mother tried to feign interest in the war, but her attention doesn't hold. For her, the war is something that is done and over with, and Krebs should instead focus on the present and think of the future. She implores him to start going out more, meeting people, looking for girls and trying to get a job; the things a regular person was doing at that time Try as he might, the ex-soldier could not revert back to his pre-war self.…

    • 1479 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    During the first scene of the novel, Kitty mentions how Chris refuses to change the nursery room. She says, “I wish Chris wouldn’t have it kept as nursery when there’s no chance —” (West 4). By cutting off her line, West emphasizes how Kitty cannot finish her sentence because she does not want to allow herself to think about how Oliver can never live in this room again. Since Kitty is in no position to argue with her husband or change the state of his house, she is forced to repress her trauma. Since Baldry Court is Chris’ childhood home, Kitty’s duty as a wife is to make her husband happy and she cannot go against his wishes and take down the room.…

    • 1972 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    How could he not?” (119) Alaska was just a child and she had to witness her mom die of an aneurysm, but what is worse is that her dad’s first reaction was to blame his daughter. Alaska was only a child, she didn’t know the severity of the situation, which combined with the shock of seeing her mother helplessly on the ground, she was unable to call 911. Her father blamed her and ever since that day, Alaska blamed herself too. If her dad had been sympathetic and reassured Alaska that in such a hard situation it was understandable to panic and not be able to call 911 then Alaska might have been able to forgive herself because her dad would have, but the opposite happened. Because he resented her for not saving her mother, their relationship was irreparably broken causing him to become an absent and uninvolved parent which led to Alaska’s rebelliousness and recklessness.…

    • 2130 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Natalie, the narrators’ daughter had to make her mother move out of their big house in fear of getting a divorce; she is left with no one to turn to. Bess wishes she had a daughter too and does not seem to forget the pain she underwent to raise her four sons. “I did my best on raising those boys. But raising four boys with no father is no picnic” (Gish 229).The narrator is emotionally conflicted due to the fact that john does not get to go to work and she has no idea how her granddaughter will be in future. Divorce in most American homes happens due to lack of establishment of a common ground between the husband and wife.…

    • 1073 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Furthermore, man generally ignores women’s voices, so it is difficult to learn their true thought. One of Kien comrade was named Hoa, she is a teenager girl who joins the northern army and involves herself to the war directly. During an event, she sacrifices herself for the safety of Kien and other wounded soldiers. Before the American soldiers capture her, she tells Kien "I 'm afraid to be alone…I want to be with you, Kien" (188). This is the last word she ever exchanges with Kien.…

    • 1388 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Georgina Smith Ms. Large Social Studies 11 5th April 2016 Women’s Role in the First World War Many men during WWI, shunned the idea of women playing a frontline role in ‘their war’, and rarely even accepted their help. Some men even went as far as to consider the recruitment of women, a sign of total war. This was because in all of the past years, women’s only role was to stay home and support the family.The first world war gave women the chance to dramatically change their role in everyday life. However, they certainly had to work towards it. A lot of women on the homefront were anxious, alone, and in constant fear that they would get a letter about their husband’s or son’s death.…

    • 1022 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Even though Marjane and her family have suffered through a war, this signifies the result of her broken heart after her lover cheats on her. Even though she has gone through so much in her lifetime, including the Iraq and Iran war, she is still affected by an obnoxious guy cheating on her. After she experiences this heartache, she knows not to expect anything from guys. She realizes that she does not need a man to achieve happiness; happiness is journey taken by oneself. Marjane advocates for herself and moves on from the loss…

    • 1056 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Then they wonder why all their relationships fail. In majority letters written to Christopher, his mother was talking about 1her accomplishments, her life, her daily life, but no explanation, and no motherly character. " Dear Christopher, we have a new fridge and cooker at last! Roger and I drove to the tip at the weekend to throw the old ones away” (Haddon 104) First sentence is about her and her weekend. She doesn't even write a hello just, getting into her life thinking it's going to make Christopher feel better.…

    • 918 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He, however, has to endure the struggles of continuing to fight; only to be further disturbed by the horror war brings. This affects him later in life because Billy distances himself from his family due to the horrors he experienced. He walked in once on his son, Robert Pilgrim, during a party and realized that he did not really know him. His war trauma also affects his daughter, Barbara Pilgrim. The narrator describes her as a “bitchy flibbertigibbet” because she took the burden of being head of the family at a young age (Vonnegut 26).…

    • 1205 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays