Importance of setting in Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemmingway Essay

Importance of setting in Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemmingway Essay

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The story has different elements that make it a story, that make it whole. Setting is one of those elements. The book defines setting as “the context in which the action of the story occurs” (131). After reading “Soldier’s Home” by Ernest Hemmingway, setting played a very important part to this story. A different setting could possibly change the outcome or the mood of the story and here are some reasons why.
First, if there was a point made of the setting what would this story be like? Would Kreb’s be in Paris or Germany still? Would he have come home earlier if he knew it was a more bustling town? Hemmingway made the point of setting this story in a slow Oklahoma town that had no prospects of getting any better. Krebs was out of a Methodist college and went straight to the war (133). Krebs knew the lifestyle that he left behind and what would be expected of him when he returned. His family expected a return to his pre-war state of a young man out of college. The setting in Oklahoma probably did not entice Krebs any longer and he hungered for something better than settling down and becoming a working man. New York City or even Los Angeles might have created a different setting for Kreb’s. Maybe these towns might have offered a more exciting lifestyle for this young man. Hemmingway is maybe trying to portray that Kreb’s was held down by consequences of the war and this Oklahoma town would again have consequences for Kreb’s. Marriage, children, and a steady job were these the consequences Kreb’s spoke of when he mentioned courting the women in this town? Possibly, and he knew that he wasn’t going to live a lie any longer.
Second, what is the mood of this story trying to portray with the setting. The setting c...


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... as giving details about the location” (Benedict). Carol even explains something interesting, “the type of vocabulary the characters use can suggest where they live or where the scene occurs. Teens from Chicago will sound different from teenagers in rural Kentucky” (Benedict). This is why it was important for Hemmingway to show the reader how Krebs was feeling. He set the story and it was the reader’s choice to envision how the character felt about his return.



Works Cited

Benedict, Carol. "Story Elements: Importance of the Setting.” last modified April 13, 2010,
http://thewritingplace.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/storyelements-importance-of-the-setting/
Hemmingway, Ernest. "Soldier's Home." Literature to Go. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. 133-38.
Meyer, Michael. "Setting." Literature to Go. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. 131.

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