“Soldier’s Home” Literary Analysis
It is an undeniable fact that war changes people, and this change becomes especially apparent when soldiers return home to their families. In the short story “Soldier’s Home”, Ernest Hemingway paints a picture of a soldier’s state of mind after arriving home from the war and shows the difficulties of trying to live a normal life, fit in with society, and start over. Hemingway introduces Harold Krebs as he returns home from World War I much later than the rest of the soldiers. It is very evident from his behavior that he is traumatized, confused, and feels very much out of place. He doesn’t know where to begin to pick up where he left off and truly feels confused about his purpose in life, which can be very much related to the way many soldiers feel in our generation. Things such as fitting in with the society, getting a job, and starting a new relationship become a lot more complicated, and Krebs expresses this several times throughout the story. He especially focuses on the subject of starting a relationship with a girl and his inability and lack of interest of even introducing himself. He likes to observe women, and even desires to be with one; however, the idea of courting and investing time into it completely turns him off. Hemmingway never explains why Krebs feels this way but gives enough hints that perhaps Krebs once suffered heartbreak. “Now he would have liked a girl if she had come to him and not wanted to talk, but here at home it was all too complicated. He knew he could never go through it all again.” The reader is focused on the words “again” and “It all”, allowing the audience to assume that he might have done this once before. The word “complicated” is repeated a numerous times when it’s associated with girls; “the girls live in a complicated world, “ “they were too complicated”, “it is too complicated” and “He had tried to so to keep his life from being complicated.” which is another clue that Krebs might...
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