Soldier’s Home is a short story by Ernest Hemingway that was first published in 1925. The story takes place in the fictional town of Kiowa, Oklahoma, and follows protagonist Harold Krebs as he adjusts to life after returning home from World War I.
One of the themes of Soldier’s Home is the difficulty that soldiers face when they return from war. Krebs finds it hard to readjust to civilian life and is haunted by his experiences during the war. He feels out of place in his small hometown and struggles to connect with people who haven’t experienced the same things he has.
Another theme of the story is the idea of living in a false reality. Krebs creates a fantasy world for himself where he is still a soldier and the war is still going on. He pretends that he is still in Europe and that he has never come home. This allows him to avoid dealing with his real life, which he finds too painful.
Soldier’s Home is a powerful story about the effects of war and the difficulties of coming home. It highlights the themes of isolation, trauma, and living in a false reality. These themes are still relevant today, making Soldier’s Home a timeless classic.
The theme discovered in Ernest Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home,” which is enhanced by the use of the setting, symbols, and characters, is that war transforms individuals.
Krebs, the story’s protagonist, returns home from World War I having experienced things that he cannot forget and that have consequently changed him. The war has left Krebs feeling out of place in his small hometown and unable to connect with those around him, leading him to lie about his experiences and isolate himself. Through the use of setting, symbols, and characterization, Hemingway effectively communicates the theme that war changes people.
When Krebs returns home from the war, he finds that he no longer feels comfortable in his small hometown. He is “restless” and “miserable” there (Hemingway 2). The town seems “too small now for all the people and houses that had been there before” (2). Krebs is unable to find peace in his hometown because it reminds him too much of the war. He feels out of place and alone, as if he does not belong. This effectively communicates the theme that war changes people by showing how Krebs has been changed by his experiences in the war.
Krebs also lies about his experiences in the war to those around him. He tells them that he was wounded “in the leg, side and head” (Hemingway 3). In reality, he was never wounded at all. He lies about being wounded because he does not want people to know the truth about what he experienced in the war. This furthers the theme that war changes people by showing how Krebs has changed in such a way that he is no longer able to be honest about his experiences.
Krebs’s experiences in the war have also led him to isolate himself from those around him. He “did not want to go out with the boys,” and he “did not want to talk” (Hemingway 3). He would rather be alone than be with those who have not experienced what he has. This communicates the theme that war changes people by showing how Krebs has been changed by his experiences in the war to the point where he can no longer connect with those around him.
The main theme in Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home” is how war changes people. By being exposed to the death and destruction on the battlefield, soldiers’ mental states are deeply affected. Seeing their fellow comrades killed or wounded right next to them takes a toll that humans are not designed to handle.
Soldier’s home is a story about a young man named Krebs who comes back from the war and tries to re-assimilate himself into his old life. The problem is that he can’t seem to forget what he has seen and done during the war. All his friends and family members want to know about his experiences but he doesn’t want to talk about it. The more they try to pry information out of him, the more withdrawn he becomes. Soldier’s home is ultimately a story about post-traumatic stress disorder and how Krebs copes (or doesn’t cope) with it.
The theme of “Soldier’s Home” is one that is still relevant today. With the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been a lot of soldiers coming back with PTSD. The symptoms are often similar to what Krebs experiences in the story. Many soldiers find it hard to readjust to civilian life after seeing the horrors of war. Soldier’s home is a timeless story that speaks to the human condition and the difficulties we all face when dealing with trauma.
They are not, however, intended to slaughter seemingly limitless quantities of other people for what appears to be no reason. Returning home after a few years on the battlefield and attempting to reintegrate one back into his old way of life is not an easy task, as Hemingway demonstrates throughout the narrative. The main character in the story, Krebs, is used by Hemingway to emphasize the theme of war influencing individuals.
Krebs goes through the story in a sort of daze, he is not really sure what he should do now that he is home. He does not have any goals or ambitions and spends his days lounging around his house, going on walks and playing pool. His parents nag him to find a job, but he doesn’t want to. All he wants to do is be left alone so he can think about the war and the friends that he lost.
When Hemingway uses dialogue, it furthers Krebs’ emotional distance from those around him. In one conversation with his mother, she asks him questions about the war and Krebs responds with very short answers. When she tries to get him to open up about his experiences, he gets angry and tells her that she wouldn’t understand because she wasn’t there. This shows us how Krebs has built a wall around himself, not letting anyone in because he believes that they cannot understand what he has been through.
Krebs’ detachment from society is representative of the way many soldiers feel when they come home from war. They have seen things that most people can’t even imagine and it takes a toll on their mental state. It is hard for them to readjust to civilian life and many of them end up feeling lost and alone. The theme of Soldier’s Home is that war changes people, sometimes in ways that they can never come back from.