Home Soil

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Home Soil is a story written by Irene Zabytko that takes place in Chicago during the Vietnam War. Bohdan, the narrator?s son, is the main character of the plot. His interaction with his father throughout the story proves that he is suppressing the pain that is within him. What led to this is the message that Zabytko intended for the reader; opportunities do not exist forever. Throughout the short story Bohdan displays regret, dwelling, and absolution as he realizes an opportunity has come and gone.

The feeling of regret can weigh a person?s emotions beyond normalcy. As the story unfolds and the plane arrives in Chicago from San Francisco, Bohdan becomes immediately unsocial from an expected level. ?We stood apart, unlike the other soldiers and their families who were hugging and crying on each other?s shoulders in a euphoric delirium,? said Bohdan?s dad. Mentioned briefly in the beginning of the story was the fact that Bohdan?s dad was also in a war and had never spoken of it to anyone.

As little words are exchanged, Bohdan?s dad finds himself wondering why his son has not told him any details of his journey. This is a realism that the father has had before in his own experiences. Zabytko then begins to tell the father?s story of regret in a lengthy description, including all of his war efforts. When regret is established one tends to dwell on that incident searching for a resolution.

The semi-torturing act of dwelling is a replay of events that lead up to and include the regret that took hold. Bohdan?s parachute pin is a form of symbolism. The pin represents an unattainable dream of his. Bohdan hasn?t been able to stop thinking about the one thing he was not able to do. This, in return, explains...