Ernest Hemingway “Soldier’s Home” essay

1. Do you have a clear picture of Krebs’s home? Describe it, filling in missing details from your associations of home, Krebs’s routine, or anything else you can use.

The story doesn’t give a clear picture of the Krebs’s home. The reader can just find out that his home town was in Oklahoma. His town has heard too many atrocity stories about the war. The life in the city changed a lot during the time when the main hero was at war. The women changed: young girls grew up. Everything became more complicated. A family motor car was in the property of the family. There were dining-room, kitchen, bedroom, pool room in Krebs’s house. There was a front porch and Krebs often was reading on eat after having lunch at home.

There was also a clarinet and books that the main hero took from the library and brought home.

2. What does the photograph of Krebs, the corporal, and the German girls reveal? At home Krebs has a picture that shows him on the Rhone with another corporal and two German girls. The photo shows that uniforms of corporal and Krebs are too small and that German girls are not beautiful at all.

3. Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne, St. Mihiel, and the Argonne were sites of bloody fighting. What effect have these battles had on Krebs?

Krebs took part in kinds of awful bloody fighting that affected him greatly. When he came home after the war, first he didn’t want to talk about it, but later he felt he needed to talk to someone, but none wanted to listen about it. He had to lie about everything in order to be heard. After he had done that couple times, he hated the war and talks about it.

4. Why does Krebs avoid complications and consequences? How has the war changed his attitudes toward work and women? How is his hometown different from Germany and France? What is the conflict in this story?

After the war Krebs noticed that nothing has changed in the town except the young girls had become older and lived in a very complicated world of already defined alliances and shifting feuds. The main hero didn’t want to break into them. He liked to look at girls, but he didn’t want them themselves really, because they were too complicated. Or may be he wanted to have a girl, but didn’t want to work on getting her. He didn’t want to take part in any intrigues and politics or to do any courting and to lie any more. So the war influenced Krebs greatly: he didn’t want to have any job and he didn’t want to have woman, as all these made his life complicated.

With French and German girls everything was simple and easy; there were no any troubles, no talks. There men and women could be just friends without any problems.

The conflict of the story is that the war changed the person a lot and when he came home, he didn’t want to have the same things that other usual people wanted.

5. Why do you think Hemingway refers to the protagonist as Krebs rather than Harold? What is the significance of his sister calling him Hare?

Reading the story, it is possible to notice that only mother calls the main hero Harold, and nor Krebs. Probably the writer wanted reader to pay attention on the fact that for mother, her son is the same little boy who needs to be protected as he was before war. She doesn’t want to believe he changed and became another person. Probably the author uses two different protagonists for emphasizing that fact.

The sister called Krebs Hare in order to make him feel special. He was very special for her; she loved him and asked to be her beau.

6. How does Krebs’s mother embody the community’s values? What does Krebs
think of those values?

Krebs` mother is sure that a young man should find his ambition and define aim in the life. For her, the community’s values are to find a good job, to marry and settle down. Krebs doesn’t agree with these values. He just got angry when his mother told him about them.

7. Why can’t Krebs pray with his mother?

Krebs can’t pray with his mother because he doesn’t believe in God and doesn’t want the things his mother prays for.

Krebs doesn’t believe that he is in God’s Kingdom. He also doesn’t want to have the same life as his peers have: with job and marriage. It is not for him now, so he can’t pray for it.

8. What is the resolution to Krebs’s conflict?

The conflict was over, because Krebs told his mother about his love to her and she was not angry with him any more.

He didn’t want to pray with her, so she prayed for him. He tried to keep his life away from being complicated; he felt sorry for his mother that she mad him lie.

9. Comment of the appropriateness of the story’s title.

The title of the story is appropriate, because the whole story tells about the home, the relationships in the family and the life of community in the hometown of the soldier.

10. Explain how Krebs’s war experiences are present throughout the story even though we get no details about them.

The whole story again and again touches the topic of war and the Krebs` experience there. The war has influenced him greatly. He experienced horror, fair, pain and disappointment. After the war he couldn’t trust people, love women, believe in God

Setting: Answer the following questions in brief with examples.

1. Is the setting important in shaping your response? If it were changed, would your response to the story’s action and meaning be significantly different?

Setting helps in shaping my responses about the story. It is the key of the story’s plot. It includes the time, place, and atmosphere the story is taking place in. If it were changed, my response to the story’s action would be also changed.

The settings hived the opportunity to understand the idea of the story better, it helps the reader.

2. Is the setting used symbolically? Are the time, place, and atmosphere related to the theme?

The setting is not used simplistically, as the place, time and atmosphere relates to the theme and idea of the story.

Everything, each detail in the story tells about the consequences of the war, man’s attitude to it, family relationships.

Everything supports one big idea of the story.

3. Is the setting used as an antagonist?

In some way setting plays the role of antagonist in this story. And it is opposed by the protagonist, the main hero, whose name is Krebs.

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