Below is a summary of what we cover in our analysis of the short story “Redeployment” by Philip Klay
The short story respects a traditional plot structure and presents the process of redeployment of US soldiers from combat areas. The story follows the male narrator and focuses on the psychological effects of war and the difficulties of reintegrating into civil society.
The narrative features a lot of characters—soldiers, soldiers’ wives and families— but most of them are only mentioned to convey the social setting and further explore the process of redeployment. The narrator is the most important character in the short story, so we will mainly focus on him in our analysis.
We find that the setting of the story mostly takes place in the narrator's hometown in the US. The social setting is quite detailed, as it presents both aspects related to life in the army, in a combat zone, as well as aspects related to civil society.
The story is mainly told from the narrator’s point of view, but sometimes he also uses the point of view of the whole group of soldiers that he belongs to: “We found this one insurgent doing the death rattle, foaming and shaking, fucked up, you know?” (p. 253, ll . 13-14)
Philip Klay uses colloquial English language to convey the story “Redeployment”, but he also includes army slang, which might be harder to understand for someone who is not familiar with army terms. The offensive slang words like ‘shit’ and ‘fuck’ are meant to emphasize the toughness of soldiers who have been exposed to violence. We also look at the many similes used in the text and some of the symbols.
See the following pages for the full analysis!