By Ernest Hemingway
- How Ernest Hemingway's backround affects the message- As a veteran of WWI, the reader can tell that his opinions of post-war life are conveyed through this character, Krebs. What is his overall opinion?
- Title- The word "home" usually has the connotation of a warm place of refuge, but in this story, "Soldier's Home," isn't necessarily the assurance of comfort that the title implies. As indicated in the story, "home" for this soldier is not unlike the warfront: confusing, complicated, and unrestful.
- Plot/Conflict- A soldier, Krebs (as he is referred to), returns to his hometown from fighting in World War I, only to find more complication in the faces of his family and neighbors. After fighting a long and tiring war, he desires to return home to find refuge, but instead finds more complications in the nagging of his mother, who insists that he jump back into life, by getting a job, finding a wife, and having children. After a heated discussion with his mother, he finally realizes that his life will be full of inevitible complications, but that if he takes his life one day at a time, things will become much simpler.
- Setting- The setting of the story is around 1919, after the end of World War I. The reader can assume that the story is set in a town like any other in America, as the description of the women and culture indicate.
- Point of View- The story is told from a 3rd person point of view. This helps the reader understand the feelings and thoughts of Krebs about the pressure of his family's desire for him to reinsert himself into society.
- Language- Hemingway's style of writing has always been very "to the point" and direct, without too much figurative language and embellishment. This holds true for "Soldier's Home," as Hemingway once said that he always believed to write "the truest sentence you know."
- Tone- There are three tones in this short story. Initially, Krebs refers to his situation in a matter-of-fact, realistic sense, describing his surroundings and how they affect him. He simply wishes things were simpler. As he gets into the heated discussion with his mother, his outlook on life and the possibility for it to be fruitful and uncomplicated appears bleak. However, by the end of the story, he figures that in the end, things will work out as they are meant to, and he nonchalantly decides to take things as they come, and watch his sister play baseball.
- Theme- The theme of this passage is that life is full of complications, but the proper way to approach them is not by stressing and worrying about them, but to take life one day at a time.
- Characterization- The first half of the story introduces Krebs' character and feelings of his home after war. He is indifferent to this place, and hates the fact that things still remain complicated after the war. The next part is the dialogue between he and his family, which represents the relationship he has with them. He seems impatient and indifferent to them as well, and eventually gets in an argument with his mother about his being reinserted into society so quickly. By the end, the reader sees the practical yet hopeful side of Krebs, as he succumbs to the fact that he won't be able to control the amount of confusion life hands him, and that he should just live his life a day at a time.
- Symbolism, motifs, allusions, etc.- As said before, due to Hemingway's straightforward form of writing, there aren't any symbols, motifs or allusions in this short story. But do you see any symbolism, motifs or allusions?
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