One point of convergence between both works is their fundamental challenge of the Romantic conception of war. When Krebs returns to his Oklahoma town, he is forced to have to address their desire to hear "heroic war exploits." He is left to wrestle with the truth, alone and solitary. War has fundamentally changed him into a being where the future is always overshadowed by the conditions of a war-time past.
Paul's attitude towards the "heroic exploits of war" is much the same. Paul holds bitterness and resentment towards the teachers and adults that praised war to the young, sending them off to their early deaths and shattered conditions of life. For Paul, he sees his generation, motivated by the Romantic construction of war, as one that is "weary, broken, burnt out, rootless, and without hope." Such a designation can apply to Krebs who moves to Kansas City to escape the expectations of others. The desire to "fit" what others desired has caused both soldiers to feel "utterly alone" in the world. This experience of war is shared in both works.