Literary Analysis Soldier's Home

917 words - 4 pages

English 1002, Section 02
29 April 2012
Literary Analysis of Harold Krebs from “Soldier’s Home”
In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Soldier’s Home”, Harold Krebs is a young man who returns home to Oklahoma from World War I. Krebs arrives with the second division in the summer of 1919. The citizens were no longer interested in the returning soldiers. Things had gone back to normal and no one wanted to listen to his war stories. He had to start telling lies to get attention. Things had not changed much back at home, but he has changed due to his experiences. Since his return from the war, he has different thoughts on dating and his future. He wants a girl, but he does not want to ...view middle of the document...

He did not want to love anyone and he did not want anyone to love him, which is unusual because most people need to love someone or something. Mckenna and Raabe also state, “For him love is not an idea that builds a satisfying world; rather it is a notion that weaves snares and entanglements” (8). Krebs tries to avoid complications or consequences. “He practiced on his clarinet, strolled down town, read, and went to bed” is an example of Krebs having an unusual approach to life (188). Most of the guys were getting married and finding good jobs. Marjorie Smelstor says, “Brief, simple and repetitious, this series of ‘He did not wants’ catalogs the ways in which Harold Krebs intends to remain uninvolved, detached, and restrained (3795).
Another character trait that Krebs has is immaturity. His immaturity is emphasized when the narrator says, “He was sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he became bored…” (188). He cannot face reality and has no ambitions in life. His immaturity is mainly due to the way his parents treat him. His parents come to an agreement allowing him to use the car “In the evenings” to take girls riding with him (189). This act may seem like a big deal, but he is an adult who should take matters into his own hands by getting a job to support himself. Charles Oliver states, “His parents are religious fundamentalists, treating him on his return from Europe as they had when he was a young teenager before the war. And they have no concept of what their son has been through” (342-43). Krebs is immature because he...

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