Analysis of Hemingway's "Soldier's Home"

989 words 4 pages
Essay #1: Characterization
Title: “Soldier’s Home” Author: Ernest Hemingway

Setting: Post World War I era, 1919. In Howard’s (Kreb’s) quaint home town in Oklahoma. All who have returned from the harsh war are welcomed; their stories as well. All except for Krebs.

Narrative Point of View: 3rd person. The narrator puts the reader in Kreb’s environment or in his society, so to speak. This allows one to feel as Krebs does and better understand the lasting effects of war (or perhaps the lasting effects of his lies) on him and the surrounding characters

Conflict(s): Man vs. Himself: Krebs is dealing with the complications of reestablishing himself in society after the complications of a restless war. He becomes angry at himself as
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They express this by saying, “It was rather ridiculous for Krebs to be getting back so late, years after the war was over” (272). Krebs admits he is a liar when he says he has, “Acquired the nausea in regard to experience that is the result of untruth or exaggeration” (273). Krebs loses his dignity when he is confronted by, “another man who had really been a soldier” (273). Krebs develops lies about his war experiences. He speaks to a real wartime veteran and starts to feel guilty and sick. Hemingway writes about how Krebs then lives a lazy lifestyle of sleeping late at his home where he feels safe and protected. One of his two sisters is the only one who thinks of him as a hero, and asks about war stories. At home, “his mother would have given him breakfast in bed if he had wanted it…His father was noncommittal” (273). The distance between Krebs and his father perhaps suggests that the father is fully aware of Krebs lies. This is why he only speaks to Krebs through his mother. Hemingway further describes how Krebs is more comfortable viewing girls from his porch walking across the street. They were too much trouble and not worth it. Krebs describes the girls with shorter hair, Dutch collars, and patterns which signifies uniformity and militaristic styles. However, he was uncomfortable around them when up close and did not find them as attractive. He does not even want to talk to them because he is afraid of lying and does not want to deal with the