Soldier’s Home is a short novel by Ernest Hemingway. It details feelings of a soldier that left and came back from serving in a war. The lead character is named Harold Kreb. He left to fight in a war only to come back and feel as if he doesn’t belong at home. His mother understands his pain and tries to help him readjust to being at home. She knows he is going through post-war trauma and hopes a relationship with a girl and a job can help him refocus. Harold has a younger sister that looks up to him. His father was never around.
The fact that his father was not around may have contributed to how Harold felt. This can be an idea of why Hemingway has his character feeling so lost and out of place. Harold goes into literally a culture shock when he comes home from war. Things look different including how women carried themselves. He felt things were out of place and became more complex than he remembers. He wants things to be the way they were. To him they were simple. At times he does not want to talk about the war and he even lied about what happened.
Harold would pray that things would get better to a place where he could get used to things but he grows tired. As readers read on they learn how the character seems unable to handle complex situations. In a sense they don’t really seem as complex as he thinks, but just seems a little stubborn of the idea of change. Later one people learn through actions in the story that Harold lost his soul when he fought in the war. There is a book that depicts actions relate to the war that seems to be his only connection to the real world.
Harold eventually hopes to learn more about why the war has affected him in the manner it has. Readers can speculate on reasons why based on what real soldiers go through. It is possible some soldiers feel like they cannot adapt to life after experiences of a war. Some soldiers experience unimagined levels of tragedy and only they really have an understanding of what happened. Harold wants more help beyond hope and experience that will help him understand his feelings. Specifically, what happened to him when he went to war.
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