I thought this part of the book was a little less interesting than the first part. I thought it was interesting to read about how Fussell adapted into civilian life. He said that the civilians believed the soldiers would adapt quickly to life, but in reality, the exact opposite happened. Fussell said for some soldiers, coming back to regular life was great, while for others it was a painful process. I thought it was sad how people thought Post-traumatic stress disorder was just a soldier’s drunkenness. I guess the people really could not understand what was going on in the mind’s of these soldiers, but how could they not expect some sort of reaction? They believed that since the soldiers had returned “victoriously” there would be no side effects of war. It was also sad to read about how Fussell reacted after the war, periodicially “lying under the furniture crying my eyes.” (Page 183)
I noticed how Fussell considered himself to be much more cynical after the war. I think he saw America in a new, different perspective, one that caused his being cynical. Much of his critical attitude seemed to come from military politics. The leadership, according to Fussell was awful and he not only noticed it, but so did the British field marshal. He believed maybe war could have been different if the leadership had been better. It was interesting that while Paul was at Harvard Graduate School, the other veterans there would all compare war stories, using it as a type of social status. It was interesting that he was the only one who had been in the infantry, while everyone else was from the Navy or the Air Force.
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