September 13, 2010
Essay # 1
The Results of War
“Soldiers Home” by Ernest Hemingway is a tragic tale of a young soldier’s horrific experience in the war and the traumatized life he leads at home as a result. The main character Krebs comes home to realize that everything and everyone is the same but him. He realizes that for him the mundane life he lead before the war has ceased and all that is left is the soulless body of the man he once was. One realizes upon reading this story that war not only takes the lives of the soldiers killed in battle it also steals the souls of the ones who survive.
In the story, Krebs lies to everyone all the time just to make small talk and yet when he happens upon another soldier he honestly replies, “That he was badly sickeningly frightened all the time” (188) One wonders how a real soldier reacts around friends and loved ones. Do they lie about their feelings? Do they act normal to protect everyone but themselves? This story is indeed fictional yet with every word read the pain felt by Krebs seems honest and real.
Also in the story, Krebs has many thoughts of how the girls were young when he left yet now they are grown up and good looking. However the effort to win one over to his thinking is,”too complicated” and “he doesn’t want to have to work to get her.” (188) Krebs feels like he is emotionally drained and the book states that “He did not want the consequences ever again. He wanted to live alone without consequences.” (188) Do all soldiers feel this way upon returning home from war. That life just is not worth any effort at all.
Another instance of his emotional withdrawal is where Krebs and his mother have an argument in the kitchen in which Krebs realizes that his emotions what little is left are becoming so volatile and raw that it’s hard to keep holding them in. His mother rags him about things that would be ordinary for a normal young man his age but for Krebs its torture to...