Comparison Of Styles And Settings Essay, Research Paper
A Comparison of Styles and Settings
In the short story “Soldier’s Home,” by Ernest Hemingway, Kreb’s rejection of his community’s values can be related to Sammy’s relationship to his supermarket job in John Updike’s “A & P.” Even though the two stories are different in style, one story being more serious and gloomy and the other being more humorous and sarcastic, they both reveal two similar settings, which the main characters reject. Both authors use precise and detailed examples of how each style and setting are portrayed.
Hemingway presents a style in “Soldier’s Home”, that is emotionless and serious, while Updike gives readers a youthful almost comic style of story in “A& P.” To begin with, Hemingway uses the name Krebs all through the story; he never lets readers become personal or emotional to Kreb’s. Where in “A&P” Updike lets readers see through the eyes of a nineteen year old boy, Sammy, who is sarcastic and also humorous. One occasion where we see this adolescent humor is when Sammy says, “She was a chunky kid, with a good tan, and a sweet broad soft-looking can, with these two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs” (480). Comments about the girls like this one gives Updike’s “A&P” a youthful humor for readers to enjoy. Another example of this is when Sammy thinks to himself, “She did not look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white prema-donna legs” (481). Statements like this gives readers comic relief and throughout the rest of the story he refers to this leader of the girls as Queenie. An example of when Sammy refers to her is when he says, “Queenie blushes, though maybe it’s
maybe just a brush of sunburn I was noticing for the first time, now that she was so close” (483). There is no light-hearted or uplifting thoughts given from Krebs in “Soldier’s Home” just serious,
cold, not so happy statements for example, “Krebs acquired the nausea in regard to experience that is the result untruth or exaggeration?he had been badly, sickeningly frightened all the time” (140). Comments of this sort throughout the story provides little remorse and repels any type of humor like we see in “A&P.” In regards to the style in these two stories it is clear that Hemingway and Updike use totally different styles.
Even though the styles of these two stories are very different, the setting and character rejections to the setting are very similar. Both stories take place in towns that have certain guidelines or patterns that people are expected to conform to. Hemingway reveals this in “Soldier’s Home” when Kreb’s mom says, “Don’t you think it’s about time? God has some work for everyone to do”. “Charley Simmons has a good job and is going to be married?boys like Charley Simmons are on their way to being really a credit to the community” (143). Another example of this is when his mother is telling him about how his father says that, “all work is honorable?you’ve got to make a start at something?you are going to have to settle down to work.” This shows the expectations that are set for Krebs by his mother and the rest of the community. In Updike’s short story he also creates a town with guidelines, like when Lengel says “?This isn’t the beach?we want you decently dressed when you come in here?after this come in here with your shoulders covered. It’s our policy” (483). Here we see direct guidelines given by Sammy’s boss that reflects the town’s beliefs and conformities. Krebs and Sammy both oppose the pattern of conformity that their towns expect them to follow. Krebs rejects the setting of this town by going away to the city where people do not know or expect things of him. Like Krebs, Sammy also rejects the setting of the A&P store by quitting even though he does not want to quit his job. Lengel makes Sammy aware that he does not want to quit by saying, “‘You do not want to do this to your mom and dad.’” And Sammy thinks to himself, “It’s true, I don’t. But it
seems to me that once you begin a gesture it’s fatal not to go through with it” (484). This proves that Sammy does not want to quit his job but he feels pressure to do so anyway. Sammy is rebelling from the standard of how people of his town thinks other people should look or dress. Hemingway and Updike show many examples of how both stories have similar settings and main characters that respond the same to the settings.
In these short stories, “Soldier’s Home” and “A&P” the authors present two stories that show differences and similarities. They prove this by using two styles that are very different, but at the same time having main characters that react to the setting of their towns by rebelling against them. All in all, both authors show how even though two stories may have different styles they still can have similar settings and characters that react the same to the settings.