In the short story collection, “Redeployment,” Phil Klay describes two conflicting worlds for the soldiers who came back from combat. One of the worlds is the battleground where they were isolated there for several months; the other one is their homeland they used to live. In the first story, Redeployment, Phil Klay discusses about how the vile of battleground still effect these soldiers. Even though they have come back from the Iraq War, they still couldn’t live as normal civilians. On the battleground, under uncountable death threats, both of their body and mind were set in a very nervous state.
As a result, after they come back from battleground, they couldn’t fit into the suburb lifestyle they used to live. Unlike many other books about veterans which focuses on how veterans are helpless when they are back, Redeployment is focus on how these veterans are still thinking and acting like they were still on the battleground. Moreover, the inappropriate behaviors of the marine create a sense of absurd. This absurdity back in the mainland America along with the absurdity of the marines’ behaviors in the oversea background create a best reflection of the cruelness and meaningless of wars.
The behaviors of the marine in the suburb seems very ridicules and strange through the perspective of civilians which indicates the influence of war on their states of mind. In the American Eagle Outfitter store, the first narrative “I” has made a speech between the while, red and orange state. He states that these people “who have no idea where Fallujah is” are in the white state which they don’t have to worry about their life at all (24-25 Klay). On the battlefield, some soldiers lost their mind under the huge pressure and entered the red state which they didn’t care about there own life anymore.
However, most soldiers became the orange state in which they tried to identify every threat in the environment around them. Even though it is a safe strategy on the battleground, it becomes very ridicules in an American suburb mall to be in the orange state. Klay described this absurdity by saying that “ In Wilmington, you don’t have a squad, you don’t have a battle buddy and you don’t even have a weapon” (24 Klay). As we know, these marines in their hometown are much safer than they are in action.
However, even though the first narrative knows that he is safe here, he lists things that make him survive in the war and suburb doesn’t have instead of talks about how safe he are. Because he couldn’t directly switch from the orange state to the white state, he does comical things such as “ You are stuck in an American Eagle Outfitters. Your wife gives you some cloth and you walking into the dressing room. You close and door and you don’t want to open again”. (24 Klay) Even though the behaviors of this veteran is very funny, these behaviors only makes people astonished about the scale that war twisted the people.
On the other hand, the marine also does some similar absurd thing in both his home and on the battlefield, which shows the depth of the concussion of war. In the begin of the story, the writer writes “We killed dogs. Not by accident. We did it on purpose and we called it action Scooby” (1 Klay). The beginning of the story creates an absurdity. This absurdity emphasizes the cruelness of war. The war cause the metamorphosis of a dog person into some one could kill dogs without any purposes. In other words, the war makes people irrational and absurd.
Sadly, the influences of war is not only limited in the battleground. After the marine comes back to home, he shoots his own dog. When he shoots the dog, Klay lets him talks about his experience in the army “If I were to shoot you on either side of your heart, one shoot and then another, you’d have two punctured lungs, two sucking chests “ (29 Klay). Even though killing a pet that will be suffered to death is a hard choice, the veteran isn’t talking about how hard he made the choice nor recalling the past experience with is pet. On the other hand, he is talking about the impact of the bullets.
Moreover, even though he is trying to kill his pet, he is using “you” a second narrative in his speech which looks very offensive and looks like he kills his pet not only for ending its pain. In conclusion, in the short story, Redeployment, Phil Klay described the absurd behaviors of the veterans both on the battleground and in their homes. The absurdity of their behaviors justify the absurdity of the war which turns them from normal civilians into people who are difficult to fit into the society anymore. The author points out the cruelness of the war by presenting the changing on the state of minds of soldiers.