Soldier’s Home - Essay
Many of the titles of Ernest Hemingway's stories are ironic, and can be read on a number of levels. Soldier's Home is no exception. Our first impression, having read the title only, is that this story will be about an old soldier living out what remains of his life in an institution where veterans go to die. We soon find out that the story has nothing to do with the elderly or institutions. Rather it tells the story of a young man, Harold Krebs, only recently returned from World War I, who has moved back into his parents' house while he figures out what he wants to do with the rest of his life.
The story of Hemmingway begins with describing partly about Krebs’ past in the war, and the situation he’s in, returning so late to his country. The description goes from example “By the time Krebs returned to his home town in Oklahoma the greeting of heroes was over. He came back much too late. […] People seemed to think it was rather ridiculous for Krebs to be getting back so late, years after the war was over.” and directly to: “At first Krebs, who had been at Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne, St. Mihiel and in the Argonne did not want to talk about the war at all. Later he felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it.” This makes the description easy to read and understand, as we get smaller parts of the descriptions rather than one huge description that can sometimes be hard to deal with. This way of writing really is typical for Mr. Hemmingway, and is described as ‘The Iceberg Theory’.
By reading these descriptions you can clearly and quickly conclude that one of the themes in this particular story is war, and the returning from war. Later on in the story, when the actual dialog between Harold and his mother and sister begins, I get the feeling that Harold has become ruthless, probably due to the warfare. I believe that another theme is fake love, understood in that way, that Harold doesn’t love his mother the way she...