What role does the War play in The Return of the Soldier?
The Great War played the pivotal role of change in ideas and perception throughout the novella titled The Return of the Soldier. West uses this paperback as a declaration on how the war had unknown psychological effects, on memory and on the concepts of sanity. Furthermore, it also affected the families and love one of those men who went to fight. Moreover, West demonstrates how the Great War changed the perception of society as it transcends all socio-economic barriers that European societies had previously established
First there is this depiction of the physiological effects of war “Of late …. By night I saw Chris running across the …show more content…
This fact was very real to the all the social classes, and the phenomenon of shell shock proved to be an effect of the war on all fronts. Officers were expected to be shielded from the danger of emotional breakdown by their superior competence and judgment, their position of responsibility, and the need to set an example for their subordinates. Women of higher socioeconomic status also had this entrenched in them as West suggest on page 70. However, this typecast was challenged in the following verse “He walked not loose-limbed like a boy, as he had done that very afternoon, but with the soldier 's hard tread upon the heel. It recalled to me that, bad as we were, we were yet not the worst circumstance of his return. When we had lifted the yoke of our embraces from his shoulders he would go back to that flooded trench in Flanders, under that sky more full of flying death than clouds, to that No-Man 's-Land where bullets fall like rain on the rotting faces of the dead.”
The Return of the Soldier highlights three key aspects of the changing conditions of war: the medical and psychological enlightenments of the war, the lives of families who survived it and lastly the way that it compelled Europe to change to