Analysis of Ernest Hemingway’s short story Soldiers Home Introduction “Soldier's Home” is part of a collection of short stories called In Our Time, which was written by Ernest Hemingway and was published in the year 1925. The book consist of many well-known short stories including “The Nick Adams Stories,” “Indian Camp,” “The Battler” and importantly “Soldier’s Home,”…
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This paper will first analyze the main characters of the story, then will focus on the symbolic element in the story and will analyze it, finally ending with an analysis of the setting in the story. Character Analysis Harold Krebs: He is the protagonist and the story chronicles his war experiences, and his problem in adjusting to his home place. Krebs gets enlisted in the army and moves to Europe during the First World War, where he undergoes both enlightened and at the same time traumatic experiences. Tormented by those war experiences, Krebs reenters his home town but finds it difficult to live a normal life and interact with the people there. His dejection further accentuates, when the people in the town, avoid listening to his wartime stories. Due to pressure from his mother to marry and have children, Krebs becomes further disillusioned and even decides to move out of the town. However, towards the end of the story, he understands that he cannot keep on holding on to his war experiences, particularly when that negatively impacts his current life. He calmly decides not to think about his past as well as future, and instead take things as they come, and goes to see his sister play a baseball game. Thus, his character undergoes various transformations, from a war hero to a depressed soul, and then finally a nonchalant person. Mrs. Harold: Harold's mother is portrayed as a very religious woman, who feels for his son’s difficulty in adjusting to the normal life in the town. She tries her best to aid her son to come out of his post-war trauma, but that did not work out favorably. However, her efforts were more of pressure to Krebs than being constructive. Without understanding the trauma her son underwent in the war, she continuously nags Krebs to discard his war experiences and start living a normal life immediately. “Krebs' small-town mother cannot comprehend her son's struggles and sufferings caused by the war.” (Imamura 102). In addition, she further pushed him to get a job, marry a girl and have children, by comparing with other boys in the community. “The boys are all settling down; they’re all determined to get somewhere… Charley Simmons, who is just your age has a good job and is going to be married” (Hemmingway 115). Thus, the character of Mrs. Harold is of a mother, who although wants a good life for his son, mistakenly pressurize him. Mr. Harold: Harold's father never makes any kind of direct appearance in the story, and instead he is mainly ‘referred’ by Mrs. Harold during her conversations with Krebs. Mrs. Harold uses the character of father mainly to validate the advices she gave to Krebs to make him return to normal life. “Your father thinks you have lost your ambition, that you haven't got a definite aim in life.” (Hemingway 115). However, it seems that Krebs did not have much of a father-son relationship with Mr. Harold, with the mother being the only communicator between them. Thus, the character of Mr. Harold does not have a major role to play. However, this “non-committal” presence of the father’s character in a way reflects the mindset of Krebs. As stated by Baerdemaeker (32), “in an extra Oedipal twist, Krebs becomes exactly like his father: non-committal.” Helen Krebs: Harold's younger sister, Helen is an indoor baseball player, and although she does not have a
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Ernest Hemingway’s celebrated novel entitled A Farewell to Arms substantially contains subtle paradoxes and/or ironies. As a whole, the novel tackles the essence of war, if there is such. War as a subject matter has, of course, several paradoxes. In the context of the novel, however, war as a background or foreground plays a fundamental role.
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Hemingway gives the name Nick Adams to his fictional character which exhibits the autobiographical implications in the text. Just like the author the character is the son of a doctor who relishes hunting and
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