Essay #1: Characterization
Title: “Soldier’s Home”
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Setting: Post World War I era, 1919. In Howard’s (Kreb’s) quaint home town in Oklahoma. All who have returned from the harsh war are welcomed; their stories as well. All except for Krebs.
Narrative Point of View: 3rd person. The narrator puts the reader in Kreb’s environment or in his society, so to speak. This allows one to feel as Krebs does and better understand the lasting effects of war (or perhaps the lasting effects of his lies) on him and the surrounding characters
Conflict(s): Man vs. Himself: Krebs is dealing with the complications of reestablishing himself in society after the complications of a restless war. He becomes angry at himself as his lies bring him deeper and deeper into the isolation of his home. Where he is safe.
Man vs. Man: Kreb’s family(mainly his mom) constantly nags him about starting his life back on the right foot(ex. Getting married, having kids, getting a job, etc.) He reacts very sensitively to what his mother confronts him with in the end. It is also clear that Krebs and his dad do not necessarily get along.
Man vs. Society: Upon his return, Krebs is perplexed. This is not the world he once knew. All the young girls were older now and had short hair and different patterns on their clothing. He also did not receive a very gracious welcome from his community when he returned years after the other soldiers have.
Thematic Climax/Moment of Recognition/Epiphany: Towards the end, when Krebs and his mother are discussing Kreb’s future. His mother asks if he loves her and he says, “No, I don’t love anybody” (276). He realizes what he has done and is willing to change. This is when he realizes that the complications of life are inevitable and you have to make the best of everyday and be grateful for what you have. You can’t run from the complications in life but you can ease the tensions in your life. He then decides to ignore his mom’s...
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