Walter Mitty

An Analysis of ‘Soldier’s Home’ by Ernest Hemingway



In times of war, soldiers may be exposed to highly different worlds. One involves a peaceful society where lies and complications proliferate. The other involves more direct confrontation and exposes the cruder aspects of the human psyche. Ernest Hemingway, through his short story, ‘Soldier’s Home,’ contrasts the differences between these two worlds, and how they relate to the experiences of a war veteran. An analysis of the short story is discussed in this paper.

      Soldier’s home portrays the life experiences of a soldier before and after the war. Harold Krebs, the story’s protagonist, encounters a conflict in readjusting to the normal way of life. Through the story, Hemingway depicts a life of loneliness and isolation. When Krebs returned to his home town, the greetings and hysteria for soldiers were already over, and the people returned back to their normal lives. Krebs expects the society to adjust, that is, make life in a peaceful society less complicated for him. On the other hand, the society expects the protagonist to adapt to its way of life.
      The story opened describing two pictures – one of his comrades and the other with two European girls with another corporal. Hemingway stimulates the imagination of his readers and instantly evokes a picture of a war veteran. However, aside from the introduction, the story made no more mention of these pictures. They can be assumed to be dead or have already gone their separate lives. Readers may expect more information about these pictures. It creates a sense of suspense, only in the end to realize the pictures were insignificant – as insignificant as Kreb’s experiences during the war in the already-peaceful world he lives in.
      Hemingway also used symbolism throughout the story. His mother represents the soldier’s...