Soldiers Home Hemingway Character Analysis

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In Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home” he writes about a soldier who has gone off to war and when he returns, he has a hard time fitting into the way that society is now lived among his hometown. The society expects certain behavior from the men and certain behavior from the women. Anything in between or around those behaviors is considered odd. Even the family of Hemingway’s soldier Harold has changed from what Harold remembered before the time that he was in the war. War has changed Harold and made him a different person. The new person that Harold has become wants recognition and respect from his hometown. When Hemingway wrote about Harold he himself had been to war and had come home to a changed society as well. As Robert Paul Lamb of Purdue University…show more content…
When Harold came home from the war he was welcomed by all of his old friends and family, he naturally wanted to tell them about his stories and his feelings; yet, “he 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”. (Hemingway 1) This is just the beginning of Harold’s struggle to fit in to his old society. Harold feels as if he cannot express himself and let some of the stress from war out of his mind. When Harold did happen to find a soul who would listen to him, he would share his feelings that he had during the war and felt as if “he had been badly, sickeningly frightened all the time. In this way he lost everything”. (Hemingway 1) As one author puts it; “he tries to disappear into his bed, or a book, or the sports page”. (Lamb…show more content…
Harold also had pressure bearing down on him from his own family, particularly his parents. While eating breakfast at the table, Harold and his mother have a conversation about Harold’s future. When Mrs. Krebs asks, “Have you decided what you are going to do yet, Harold?” (Hemingway 5) She implies that it is time for Harold to move on from the war, and to live life as a young handsome man. Mrs. Krebs goes on to say “there can be no idle hands in His Kingdom”(Hemingway 5). The only thing that these words are encouraging is the anger within Harold. When Hemingway writes this part of his story he made these very words the words that start all of Harold’s feelings within him to boil and become brought up to the surface. At this point in Hemingway’s story all of the pressure has built up within Harold and he wants to snap. He does not want to reintegrate back into society as it was before, because he knows what life was like in the war. He knows the scary truths that no man should have to suffer through. As the pressure continues to grow and Mrs. Krebs continues to tell Harold of how he should move on with his life, she slips these words into her conversation with Harold: “Don't you love your mother dear boy?” (Hemingway 5) Which Harold then responds to his mother with a simple answer; “I don’t love anybody”. He did not realize what

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