The Theme of Social Acceptance in Soldier's Home and Miss Brill

Topics: World War II, Mink, Social relation Pages: 4 (1245 words) Published: October 19, 2009
The theme of social acceptance is a significant theme presented in both Ernest Hemingway?s Soldier?s Home and Katherine Mansfield?s Miss Brill. Both characters are socially isolated and their ability to relate to those around them has been inhibited by past events in their lives. In Soldier?s Home, Krebs is having a hard time adjusting to the norms of his small after returning from the war. In Miss Brill, Miss Brill is seen as a social outcast because of her bizarre habit of talking to the stuffed mink she wears on her shoulder. It is clear that both characters feel an inability to relate to others in society, as well as misunderstood by those around them.

In Hemingway?s Soldier?s Home, he tells the story of a young man named Krebs. In Krebs? case, he has lost confidence in himself and feels unworthy to be re-introduced to the different aspects of his small town. Krebs enlisted in the marines after college in 1917 and was deployed with the rest of the troops to go to Germany to fight in World War I. His return from the war was never properly embraced ?By the time Krebs returned to his hometown in Oklahoma the greeting of the heroes was over. He came back much too late. The men from the town who had been drafted had all been welcomed elaborately upon their return.? (Hemingway, 165) The people in Krebs? town thought it was ridiculous for him to return so late. So immediately upon returning from the war he is already having a hard time fitting in with society.

Krebs also has no interest in introducing himself back into society. This is demonstrated by his daily routine.

?During this time, it was late summer, he was sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he became bored, and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room. He loved to play pool. In the evening he practiced his...
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