Krebs vs O'Brien

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Compare and Contrast of
“Soldiers Home” and “How to Tell a True War Story”

Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home” and O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” are two similar yet contrasting stories. The Protagonists in both stories are soldiers of war but they fought in different wars. In Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home” Harold, was a soldier returning from the First World War in Germany. In O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” Bob (Rat) Kiley was a soldier in Vietnam during the Vietnamese War. Both plots and settings are completely different, for “A Soldier’s Home” is set within the town of Oklahoma after the war is already over. Its basic plot follows the transition phase for Harold, a solider returning home, from life in the war to normal life back at home. It was a story about how Harold and his family dealt with him coping with being out of war and back at home. “How to Tell a True War Story” however is actually set in Vietnam during the war. The plot consists of several theories of a single story. The same war story is told several times after differences are speculated. The moral of “How to Tell a True War Story” is that one will never be able to actually give a correct account of something that happens during war for views are altered constantly and a soldiers psychological state cannot always be trusted. There is a similarity in “A Soldier’s Home” for it was said within the text that the soldier’s lied in order to make the war seem more glamorous than it actually was. Harold even admitted to lying when he was asked about being in the war.

“How to Tell a War Story” is told in flashbacks as a first person narrative. “A Soldier’s Home” however is told as a third person narrative and is told in flashbacks as well. Both stories had dialogue, but of a very different nature. The dialogue in “A Soldier’s Home” was very subtle, for he was at home with his family, in “How to Tell a True War Story” however you saw the difference in speech for they were in the...
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