Soldier's Home

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time, World War I Pages: 3 (1120 words) Published: October 30, 2012
A Soldier’s Struggle
Have you ever felt like you did not belong? In Earnest Hemmingway’s “Soldier’s Home”, Krebs, a young soldier returning from the horrific battle field in World War One, comes home and feels completely out of place. He is unable to feel any emotion towards family and friends, causing him to detach from society. The town is unchanged by the war, where Krebs has lost so much. He completely isolates himself, hiding the tragedy he faces daily. Although Krebs struggles to change his behaviors and personality in order to continue to be accepted in the town, he is hesitant to conform to the post-war society.

As soon as Krebs arrives home from war, he can see how difficult it is to conform to a society where he knows he does not belong. Krebs comes home years after the war is over, missing the elaborate welcoming of his fellow soldiers. “People seem to think it was rather ridiculous for Krebs to be getting back so late, years after the war was over” (Hemingway 187). “Krebs made an effort to stay away, as shown by his delayed return years after the war was finished. This time away from home, was his way of not dealing with the building conflict within him” (Comtois). As Krebs tries to talk to people in the town about his experiences at war, no one wants to listen; they have heard numerous stories of the soldiers who have been home longer than he. Krebs then realizes he has to lie to keep anyone’s attention; other soldiers have been doing the same. He cannot keep up with the gruesome details the other soldiers have told, leaving his less gory stories meaningless to the people in the town. Krebs begins to feel nauseas as he continuously lies and exaggerates about his experiences at war.

Struggling to make his personality appear ‘normal’, Krebs keeps to himself. In this time period, men are expected to find a suitable job, meet a woman, and settle down; Krebs is doing the complete opposite. He is uncomfortable with the process of courting; he does...
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