Critical Analysis of Soldier's Home

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Kevin Davis

English 12 CP

Mrs. Connie Newcomb

March 25, 2002

Critical Analysis of Soldier's Home

Ernest Hemingway uses his life as a setting in his short story "Soldier's Home". Although this is not considered an autobiography, it certainly contains some relevance to Hemingway's life and can be interpreted many ways. "Soldier's Home" is a story about a young man, Harold Krebs, who returns home from World War 1 in a time in which the country was to "return to normalcy." His relationship with his family is increasingly deteriorates, he cannot adapt to the changes that have taken place in his community, and he cannot leave the tragic events of the war behind him. Hemingway grew up in very much the same way, and when a writer can write about his/her personal experiences, the emotions and creativity are expressed vividly. In "Soldier's Home," Hemingway creates an emotional, somewhat autobiographical look at a young soldier returning to society from war.

Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1899 into an upper-middle class family. His childhood was not traumatic, but as he grew older, his hostility towards his father and mother increased. He saw his father as a "weak and ineffectual" (#87) man, and his mother as "strict and domineering" (#87). He entered World War 1 as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross in Italy at the beginning of the United States' involvement. He was wounded by shrapnel in both legs and confined to a hospital bed in Italy, where he fell in love with the nurse who treated him. This woman left Hemingway for an older man, leaving Hemingway heartbroken. All of these experiences made the nineteen-year-old Hemingway turn into a man far beyond his years.
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The main character Harold Krebs is very much the same as Hemingway. He was raised in a strict religious family in an upper-middle class town. As Hemingway did, he increasingly became bitter towards his parents during his teenage years. Krebs's experience in World War 1 changed his outlook on his family, social life, and future. He was the last to return home from the war in his small Kansas town, so the celebrations and congratulations had already been overplayed, and Krebs felt as if he wasn't important. Krebs feels he has to lie to the public to receive ...

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