The Effects Of War In The Return Of The Soldier

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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

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