* EndingFatigue: Used to good effect, as Haldeman sets up the story such that the only way to end it is to force an ending. This reinforces the point that the war has gone on so long that people no longer have any idea why they're fighting or what they hope to accomplish.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: Conscript soldier in a war with no objectives against ill-defined enemy for government that doesn't give a rat's ass about winning or losing, who comes home to a world he doesn't recognize and that doesn't really want him. And the war [[spoiler: [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression is itself based on false pretenses and started by asshole generals]].]] [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Nope, no allegory here.]]
* TheWoobie: Mandella.

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