AP English 12/P7
9 October 2012
A Soldier’s Home: Setting Analysis
In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “A Soldier’s Home”, Krebs, a soldier, returns to his hometown from fighting in World War I. As indicated throughout the story, “home” for Krebs is not unlike the war front: confusing, complicated, and restless. Hemingway uses the setting in Kansas, during World War I, to convey Krebs post-war life in comparison to his pre-war.
The title “Soldiers Home” reveals the question; where is the soldier’s home? In the short story, Krebs frequently mentions being over in Germany and France, expressing that he was more fond of these places than his little hometown in Kansas. “On the whole he had liked Germany better. He did not want to leave Germany. He did not want to come home.” (Hemingway 189) Arriving home years after the war was over, he constantly feels out of place and alone. He reminisces on his pre-war life; he was not allowed to take the car out, only little girls had their hair cut short, and the young girls had matured into women. Krebs comes to the unexpected epiphany that the town has not changed as much as he has.
Hemingway uses the war era to develop the setting of the story, which helps us understand how life was then. People such as Krebs were summoned to fight a war, commanding them to kill thousands of people in the name of their country, and then return home with that idea that everything is still the same. The setting is affected with the story starting a few years after the war has already been fought, because the reader comes to realize that Krebs’s late coming home is not acknowledged by the townspeople because for them, it is post-war. “His town had heard too many atrocity stories to be thrilled by actualities. Krebs found that to be listened to at all he had to lie” (Hemingway 187) Krebs’s misplacement in the post-war setting is portrayed in the fact that he cannot talk about to anyone, even though he...