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Critical Analysis Of Soldiers - School Essays

Critical Analysis Of Soldiers


Many of the titles of Ernest Hemingway's stories are ironic, and can be read on a number of levels; Soldier's Home is no exception. Our first impression, having read the title only, is that this story will be about a old soldier living out the remainder of his life in an institution where veterans go to die. We soon find out that the story has nothing to do with the elderly, or institutions; rather, it tells the story of a young man, Harold Krebs, only recently returned from World War I, who has moved back into his parents' house while he figures out what he wants to do with the rest of his life. And yet our first impression lingers, and with good reason; despite the fact that his parents' ...

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divulge why Krebs was the last person in his home town to return home from the war; according to the Kansas City Star, Hemingway himself "left Kansas City in the spring of 1918 and did not return for 10 years, [becoming] 'the first of 132 former Star employees to be wounded in World War I,' according to a Star article at the time of his death" (Kansas City Star, hem6.htm). Wherever he was in the intervening time, by the time Harold gets home, the novelty of the returning soldier has long since worn off. All the other former soldiers have found a niche for themselves in the community, but Harold needs a while longer to get his bearings; he plays pool, "practiced on his clarinet, strolled down town, read, and went to bed" (Hemingway, 146). What he is doing, of course, is killing time.
The problem, of course, has to do with Harold's definition of who he has become. He recognizes he has changed, and this change is played out dramatically against the backdrop of a town where nothing ...

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the most horrific war the world had ever known. The fact that his college was a religious institution is also significant, for it shows that he was, at that time, in synch with his mother's religious values. At least, he did not have any reason to doubt them, or not enough strength to resist them (or her).
Hemingway tells us before the first paragraph is over that Krebs "enlisted in the Marines in 1917" (Hemingway, 145). The Marines are an elite fighting force who today advertise they are looking for "a few good men" -- indicating that if the prospective soldier is not out of the ordinary, he need not apply.
However, was Krebs a good Marine? J.F. Kobler observes that there is at least ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/30/2003 07:02:42 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1584
Pages: 6

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