THE WORLD OF ENGLISH Thursday, 25.02.2021, 02:43
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"Soldier’s Home” tells us about Krebs. He came home from war. But was it really his home? Nobody cared about war. May be not about war itself, but about those who had come from it.

         In his native town Krebs understood that nothing had changed: the same people, the same life. He had experienced much, had lived another life. Yes, there, on the war, the world had been foreigner, but close. And Krebs liked that world more than this native one. The soldier didn’t want to come back, but he had to.

         So Krebs is here, and what’s happening? He begins to live automatically. All his days are the same. He doesn’t see any aims in his life. And Krebs always recollects his life on the war.

         I think the problem is that Krebs wanted to create his own home in his native city, but this very city and people in it have ruined the soldier’s dreams. May be the best place to create this home was there, in a foreign, but such a close world.

         (by Seagull)

This story doesn’t deal with Nick Adams but Hemingway’s style is quite recognizable. A lot of details that he considers necessary are present. But the language still remains laconic. For example: "There is a picture which shows him on the Rhine with two German girls and another corporal. Krebs and the corporal look too big for their uniforms. The German girls are not beautiful. The Rhine doesn’t show in the picture”. This is a kind of an emotional background to the whole story. Later on explanations will be given.

This story deals with the consequences of war. But not those ones we all know about. Harold Krebs (the main character) has to lie only to be listened to. His emotional devastation demands understanding, attention and even care. That’s why Harold is so angry with his mother when she tries to impose something on him. To work. Obviously, one must work. But Harold doesn’t want to. Or, perhaps, he can’t make himself do it. ‘He had tried so to keep his life from being complicated”, "he wanted his life to go smoothy”. Well, it’s a natural desire. And the character isn’t a negative one. He feels sorry for having offended his mother.

I suppose, sometimes there are such periods in one’s life when one may behave like Harold.

The idea of the story?! I tend to think, the idea is that the ending of war is not the beginning of a happy life. Some young people return home, being devastated, depressed and sometimes can’t cope with it.

(by Asya)

The short story "Soldier’s Home” by Hemingway is about a young man who came back from the war. He had never expected that nothing was changed in the town except that the young girls had grown up after the war. We couldn’t see the great damaging effect that the war has on people’s life. The main question in this story is "Where is this soldier’s home?” And even the main character couldn’t answer this question. He was watching the girls that were walking along the street. He was watching many people but he felt himself alone. He forgot how to live. The author tries to show us how the main character changed and not only physically but also morally. And it is difficult for him to return to normal, daily life.

(by Tanya)

        What does a soldier feel when he comes home from the war? An overwhelming beatitude? Utter bliss? Relief and ease? Nothing is as simple as is seems at the first sight. 

        Having returned home a soldier Krebs finds out that... that the life is what it used to be: girls are the same, old ladies are the same, well, all people are the same. But something has definitely changed. Something subtle that has made Krebs unsuitable for this little town with its peaceful being. And this SOMETHING is Krebs' inner self. Being on the war he knew WHAT he fights for, WHY and HOW. You know, everything is simple on the war – to kill or to be killed, a man has no other way. And Krebs got used to this war. As it is often repeated in the story, "he has learned it in the army”. But it turns out that he has learned only how to SURVIVE and not to LIVE. Being successful on the fight-field he can't find his way in the forest of people's lives. He comprehends that everything is too complicated now and he's got no desire to seize it. A man without his own place. 

        Is it the end? Somehow... the only one way for Krebs is to learn how to be another person – the one who knows what he wants from life, the one who can understand people around him, the one who can survive in the world where a man has to be able to do much more than just to squeeze off. Will he cope with it?..

(by Rina)

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