Soldier's Home

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Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne, St. Mihiel, and the Argonne were the sites of fierce and bloody fighting. What effect have these battles had on Krebs? Why do you think he won’t talk about them to the people at home? – Page 190

Soldier’s Home is a short story that shows the complexities of the human psyche very effectively by carefully leaving out certain details. It is an exploration into the contrast of what one can witness and go through and what one can recount. The soldier in this story is seemingly a simple soldier who does not care to talk about his war experience, but much more lies beneath the obvious.

Although the battles that Krebs took part in were never fully discussed in detail in this short story we are able to get a good sense of what it was like to have been there by the behavior that Krebs displays. Krebs is very much a changed man after he returns home from the war. His entire perception of the world has shifted due to the war. Krebs has some trouble adjusting to life and accepting that the people he knew before he left have all changed and lead different lives now. If the story of Krebs had been told in modern times he would have been diagnosed with PTSD and undergone some type of clinical Army treatment. It is clear that he is depressed and somehow seems to have lost his zest for life since returning home from the war. The fact that Hemingway purposely leaves out details of the war adds to the mystique of what really happened. With no details we, as readers, are left to imagine what horrible acts Krebs committed or witnessed and how awful his memories must have to be to not talk about any of his experiences. He had adjusted to life in the military and now that he was back in America he was not as sure of him self as he was when he was at war. In some twisted way it seems as though Krebs led a better life at war.

It is also apparent that Krebs feels somewhat like a loser in many ways. He is reluctant to talk to anyone about his...
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