Dani32’s Weblog

My English Blog

Soldiers Home

The over-whelming theme of a Soldiers Home is Krebs blindness to how he has changed by his experiences in the war and his Mothers awareness of his struggles and her desire for him to assimilate into back into the conventional norms of society.

Since returning from the war, Krebs struggles to find his place in society because he is unable to understand how to deal with what he experienced in the war.  He feels he is changed, beyond what most people in his town can understand.  Hemmingway shows his readers this by Krebs reluctance to talk about his experiences with his mother.  His previous attempts of telling stories and people’s indifference to his experiences had led him to lie and exaggerate his story causing Krebs even more unease.   The fact the only book Krebs enjoys are books about the war and that he desires to have more details and maps in these books are an example of his search for answers.  Krebs is truly blind to what effect the war had on him and is lost in what to do.  He is blind to his struggles and is unwilling to allow the one woman in his life that loves him the most to help him figure things out.

Krebs mother is aware of his struggles and attempts to elicit stories about the war in an effort to help him deal with his pain.  She struggles with the fact that as a house wife, Krebs does not respect her input but through her outside experience of war, from her father and Grandfather, she is aware of what war does to people and what’s needed to reform a soldier.    She tries to get him to reach out to others to get help him but Krebs is unreceptive.  She uses God and prayer as a way to bridge there gap but he is unwilling to embrace it. 

What is obvious through their conversations is that Krebs mother carries the conversation, while Krebs is unwilling and simply unable to respond to his mothers question because he doesn’t know what to say.  This is evidence that Krebs mother is aware of what is ailing him and has an idea of how to work things out while Krebs is blind to his struggles and is unwilling to allow others to reach out to him.

1 Comment»

  nmbayley wrote @

I had alot of trouble trying to pin point exactly where blindness and awareness fit into this story, although you make it blatently obviously and you articulate it so well. I was at one point under the belief that Krebs was aware of new things (i.e. the tragedies that war bring), but blind to his own personal traits and inability to integrate into society, and his mother was blinded by her faith and perhaps somewhat naive. I really like how to express his mother’s faith as though “she uses God and prayer as a way to bridge their gap.’ You’ve really expressed exactly where blindness and awareness fit into this story. Awesome.


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