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Comparison "Soldier's Home" And "Speaking Of Courage"

1140 words - 5 pages

Comparison "Soldier's Home" And "Speaking Of Courage"
To be engaged in war is to be engaged in an armed conflict. Death is an all too ordinary product of war. It is an unsolicited reward for many soldiers that are fighting for their country’s own fictitious freedom. For some of these men, the battlefield is a glimpse into hell, and for others, it is a means to heaven. Many people worry about what happens during war and what will become of their loved ones while they’re fighting, but few realize what happens to those soldiers once they come home. The short stories "Soldier's Home” by Ernest Hemingway and "Speaking of Courage” by Tim O'Brien explore the thematic after effects of war and how ...view middle of the document...

Krebs “felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it. His town had heard too many atrocity stories to be thrilled by actualities.” Krebs own family lacks support for his yearning to talk to someone about what he has done and gone through. “She [Krebs’ mother] often came in when he was in bed and asked him to tell her about the war, but her attention always wandered. His father was non-committal.” It is obvious why Krebs decided to sleep all day and lock himself in his room, his town and his family have locked him in there with nothing but his thoughts. Krebs cannot leave the room because he is unable to let out all that he carries from the war.
Krebs also withdraws into his room because of the consequence that returning from war has left him and Berlin feeling lost, insecure, and out of place. Krebs “would have liked to have a girl but he did not want to have to spend a long time getting her.” In the army, Krebs got German and French girls without many complications because you couldn’t talk much with them, nor did you need to talk. It was much simpler, and now that Krebs is back, he is scared to jump into his society for a girl. It is evident that the war has taken away the transitional period from dependency to independency from his parents. He joined while he was still a boy and now that he has returned he is expected to move on and get a job and girl, “Charley Simmons, who is just your age, has a good job and is going to be married.” Like Krebs, the girls around Berlin have grown up and moved on with their lives. Berlin’s high school girlfriend “had her house and her new husband, and there was really nothing he could say to her.” Berlin’s incessant driving around in circles emphasizes that he feels lost in the place he calls home. Inside his car he surrounds himself with the sound of the big engine, the radio, and the air conditioning. Then inside of the Chevy was “secure.” This noisy atmosphere is so securing to Berlin because it echoes the atmosphere of the war that which he has become familiar with. The silence that his peacetime home is now...

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