Most soldiers come back from war with physical injuries. However there are also the injuries without the physical scars; the “hidden” wounds of battle. The horrors of armed conflict and war often leave scars on the psyches of soldiers. Soldiers often come home diagnosed with psychological disorders. They are affected mentally by their war experiences. Ernest Hemingway’s, “Soldier’s Home” portrays war in a realistic and raw perspective because it focuses on the war’s true capability to mentally damage and drastically change a soldier.
Ernest Hemingway depicts war realistically in “Soldier’s Home” through the use of the character, Harold Krebs. The story starts off with an emotionally changed Krebs, returning from war to his hometown where everything remained the same. To most people, coming home generally means returning to the familiarity and comfort of the place where you should feel the most welcomed and at your best. Instead Krebs feels isolated and alienated and is treated almost like an outcast. He is unable to adjust to life of normalcy back in his hometown. The war affected Krebs in such a way that it seemed like he was left emotionless. He thought about women but refused to feel anything for them. “When he was in town their appeal to him was not very strong. He did not like them when he saw them in the Greek’s ice cream parlor. He did not want them themselves really” (Hemingway 147). This shows that Krebs’ wrecked emotional state is preventing him from being able to attain his normal interests like talking to women or build emotional connections with other human beings.
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