`` The All American Boy `` By Ernest Hemingway Essay

`` The All American Boy `` By Ernest Hemingway Essay

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Beginning with an introduction of the “all American boy,” Hemingway launches the short story “Soldier’s Home” with a simplistic, yet through depiction of the protagonist Harold Krebs. Attending a Methodist college in Kansas based with a strong religious foundation, Krebs seemed to be one who had his life all figured out. Nonetheless, this all changes when Krebs makes a conscious decision to enlist in the Marines during the occurrence of World War I. Based off of Ernest Hemingway’s famous works, it is very typical of him to initiate his short stories with a contrasting theme---in this case war and religion. One of the Ten Commandments of the Bible is “thou shall not murder.” However, regardless of whether it is believed that war is justifiable or not, the end result inevitably concludes in the killing of many. This contrast between religion and war continues to serve its purpose, by means of the protagonists’ internal conflict, as Hemingway depicts the new belief that Krebs no longer sees himself fit to belong in “His [God’s] Kingdom (169).
From a Methodist college, to the gruesome tribulations experienced on the battle field, it is understandable that the demeanor and mental state of Krebs, or anyone for that matter, would not remain the same. Throughout the short story, it is unmistakable that Hemingway chooses to emit imagery. Due to the lack of vivid diction and disconnected sentence structure, it is evident that upon his return, Harold becomes exceedingly detached from his reality. Krebs is one who craves simplicity in his life, only interested in playing his clarinet and scrolling around the town (167). World War I completely altered his views on life. Through a third person narration, it is mentioned that upon his homecomi...

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... Hemingway first handedly understands the gravity of the impact that is left on people’s lives after returning from a war. This is evident in “Soldier’s Home” as he clearly depicts that not only was Krebs changed, but his mother was also distraught by her son’s mental absence.
While experiencing everlasting violence in World War I, Ernest Hemingway was emotionally affected by his ghastly encounters. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Hemingway took matters into his own hands. In 1961, he decided to commit suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun (166). Through the author’s personal experiences, as well as those of Herald Krebs, Hemingway sheds light on the fact that once in a war and away from home for so long, it is extremely difficult to recuperate mentally and emotionally. Even though Krebs was physically back home, his mind was surely far from it.

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