The Return Of The Solider Analysis

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The Return of the Solider by Rebecca West left only shadows of the great war, but without the war the very title would not have been felt the same way. The war that shattered the main characters has built a beautiful mosaic that makes up this book. West has used the war in subtle ways that creep into the crevasses of the reader’s mind. The use of a child’s death to overcome the trauma that was the war was a silent plea to the generals. World War I was supposed to be the final war, but like the book with the use it was a waste of trauma. For the main character Chris, the war broke him. “He has had shell-shock and although not physically wounded he is in a very strange state indeed” (19). This shell-shock did not break his bones, but broke his …show more content…
Jenny felt what most other women felt while a loved one was in the war, fear. “Of late I had had bad dreams about him” (5). With the ideas of Sigmund Freud, the psychologist the dreams are a n unconscious fear for his safety. Freud’s ideas we just coming around at this time and the author West had a close connection with him. The important part of this is that Jenny’s unconscious desire was to take Chris from the war. She saw a horrifying film about the war that left her with nightmares about her cousin. The real fear she felt was a terrifying gesture that haunted her nights he was away. The censored version of No Man’s land that was portrayed to her on the film was half as terrifying as the real thing. The real war was to gruesome for …show more content…
The book began in a nursery of a deceased child. The mother of the child Kitty was doing her hair in there. “… It’s the sunniest room in the house. I wish Chris wouldn’t have kept it was a nursery when there is no chance---” (4). Kitty reminds me of a General in the war. He has died so let’s do something better is the idea I get when she says this. This reminds me of how the army kept sending boys over the wall. When I say boys I say it because like Oliver the baby the death from being sent over the wall were generally younger more agile boys. The boys have had a “half a life” as Margaret, Chris’s girlfriend from the past, put it (77). Margaret had a son was well as Kitty, in the nursery she her grief catches up to her, she fills this similarity the boys had can end the amnesia that Chris is suffering from. This made me think that Chris’s innocence was a representation of Germany. Germany was reacting to being trapped and didn’t know how to end it. Kitty was England who knew of the deaths, but refused to process it. Margaret represented the suffering both sides felt. Margaret was the person to approach Chris about the reality of his lost son, because Germany was the first to run out of boys to send over the wall. This book was written in 1916 but the world knew it was a stalemate in the trenches. The first one to “feel the loss” was going to be the loser. So the countries represented by Chris and Kitty could have

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