Short Story Analyst - Soldier’s Home
I chose Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home,” to do my analysis. The story focuses on Harold Krebs, a young man that has just returned from war to a small, boring, mid western town. His parents don’t understand the impact of war on his mental condition and also, to add to his frustration, they put the pressure of reality on him. The morals and ethics that he grew up with in the small Methodist town now have him somewhat lost, which is the underlining main theme: the loss of his identity and trying to please everybody around him.
When he went to war, he took his religion, his way of thinking, and his attitude towards life. When he returned from “the Rhine,” he was bewildered about the life he was going to lead. He was somewhat disoriented. His routine consisted of “sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch till he got bored…” He was satisfied with this style of living but his parents thought he had lost his focus. They compared him to another young man, Charley Simmons who is “determined to get somewhere.” The conversation between him and his parents adds pressure and upsets him. His father asks him” if he loves his mother” and he replied with a stern “no”. After apologizing to his mother, the realization is he is becoming a loser. The conversation between him and his parents lets him understand the major issue he is having. The major issue is the loss of his identity and trying to please everybody around him.
If he had not grown up in an Oklahoma town, his troubles would probably be lessened. Growing up in a small town where everybody knows your name can be tough...