Krebs In Soldier

’s Home Essay, Research Paper

Krebs in Soldier’s Home

In Ernest Hemingway “Soldier’s Home” there is a young man named

Harold Krebs, who served in the Marines for two years during WWI. He

returned home to Oklahoma to find out he had changed, but the town had not.

Trying to adjust to the way life was had become a struggle for him. The effect

that the WWI had on Krebs after the war mad his life at home hard to deal


Krebs was not pleased when he returned home. He returned from the

war and was not welcomed by the towns people. “People seemed to think it

was rather ridiculous for Krebs to be getting back so late, years after the war

was over”(Hemingway 146). He did not want to talk about the war at

first. Then he found the courage, to talk about the war, but no one wanted to

hear anymore stories about the war. The reason the town people did not want

to hear about the war is because they have already heard so many awful

stories. Krebs then felt a need to lie about the war in order for people to listen

to him. Lying about the war caused him to have “a reaction against the war

and talking about it”(146). He enjoyed going to the pool room where he told l

lie about the war to his acquaintances they “were not thrilled by his

stories”(146). Later, at a dance, Krebs admit to other soldiers in a dressing

room “that he had been badly sickening frightened at the time” because of the

war”(146). His mother wanted to hear about the war, but did not give him

much attention when he attemped to tell her.

Krebs felt that the girls in his home town were complicated. He felt that

the girls in the town lived in “a complicated world”(147). He would sit on the

front porch and watch the girls walk by but never approached them. “He

wanted a girl but he did not want to have to work to get her”(147). Krebs

would have enjoyed having a girlfriend but “did not want to have to spend a

long time getting her”(147). He did not want to get into the intrigue and the

politics”(147). The effect of he war is causing him to feel this way about

courting. He does not want the consquences that comes with having a

girlfriend. “The army had taught him that he really did not need a girl”(147).

He prefers French and German girls over American girls because they were

not complicated.

Krebs family did not make his life any easier. His father was not an

active part of his life after the war. His mother wasn’t very active either, but a

month later she spoke with him. She told him that his father thought

it was alright for him ” to take the car out in the evening”(148). Krebs felt that

it was his mothers idea not his fathers. Later, Kreb comes down for breakfast

after he was asked by his mother. While he was setting at the breakfast table

his mother asked him “Have you decided what you are going to do yet,

Harold”(149)? She goes on to lecture to him by saying “There can be no idle

hands in (Gods) Kingdom”(149). He answers by saying ” I’m not in (Gods)

Kingdom”(149). She continues lecturing to him about how his father is

worrying about him. Then she says “Charley Simmons who is just your age,

has a good job and is going to be married”(149). She informs him that the

boys in the town are settling down and they are becoming a “credit to the

community”(149). Krebs is then asked by his mother do he love her and he

says “No”(150). She starts to cry and he says, “I don’t love anyone”(150).

Then she asked Krebs to pray with her and he says “I can’t”(150). “War has

permanently alienated Krebs from the icecream-parlor wholesomeness of

American life, his father’s pursuit of the dollar, and his mother’s saccharine

religion” (Beegel 127-165). When Krebs found out that life in Oklahoma

would never be the same again, he decided to leave and start a new life in

Kansas City.

Krebs experience in WWI had a great impact on the way he lived his life.

Sometimes we may think we are doing something to better our country,but

end up hurting the person who means the most to us; ourselves.


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