Theme and message

The main theme of the short story “Redeployment” by Philip Klay is the effects of war on soldiers. Through this short story, the author illustrates the difficulties of reintegrating into civil society after having been exposed to prolonged violence, and he subtly criticizes the redeployment process which does not really help soldiers with reintegration.

The impact of war on soldiers

The story follows a first-person narrator who has served in Iraq as a Marine soldier and who is redeployed home with his platoon. Through a detailed presentation of the redeployment process, the narrator’s attitude to it, and that of his fellow soldiers, as well as through the narrator’s memories from Iraq, the author manages to convey a very realistic image of the way war affects soldiers’ lives and their psychology.

From the beginning of the short story, we find out that the narrator has been exposed to and practiced violence against human and animals (killings and torture). Although they are sent to a decompression base, neither the narrator nor his fellow soldiers feel the process has any effect on them.

On the contrary, the narrator is unable to forget shooting the dogs and killing and torturing people....

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