Posted by mandisolomon on October 21st, 2008
So now there is a huge break between the Paul Fussell who was a soldier and the Paul Fussell who is now a veteran. This break is his injury which changed the way he saw the war. To us today we would call it post-traumatic stress disorder which Paul tells us in the book but at the time he had no idea what it was. This disorder left him wanting the Europe he had seen during the war. He wanted it so bad that he moved to the Eastern part of the US because he believed he could find it there. What he found was Harvard and that was as close as he could get to the Europe he so wanted. This move not only was for him but for his parents who did not know how to deal with a man with so much anger. From there he learned to put his anger into words at Harvard, for example he wrote about the his hating the easy ways of those who were “rehabilitating” Nazis. He then moved on the become a professor at Connecticut College where he found the staff to be like the army. This was not what he wanted. He wanted to be far from the feel of an army. With all of his anger, he really was just depressed by the memories of a war that took so much from him. He tells us how a book he was teaching really effected him because it brought up the memory of Sergeant Engle. From Connecticut College he moved to Rutgers which he very much enjoyed and then on to Penn. Paul would always find it hard to be the same as everyone else due to a war that changed him forever.