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An Analysis Of Hemingway's Style In Soldier's Home.

1356 words - 5 pages

Ernest Hemingway's "Soldier's Home" has received much attention, especially from the Vietnam-era baby boomers. Like many of his pieces, the story is much more complex then it seems on the surface. Mr. Hemingway is renowned for his description, though he is sometimes criticized for the seeming simplicity of "Soldier's Home." Upon closer examination, the story becomes not only a simple tale of a young man returning from war, but also a story of a commonplace struggle, portrayed through the eyes of young Krebs. This style of simplicity and implied meaning is a trademark of Ernest Hemingway, and is what sets him apart from many other writers.I agree with those claiming that the story of Krebs is based of the life experience of young Ernest Hemingway. Mr. Hemingway was also a WWI veteran, and faced similar problems when he returned home. He too arrived far after the soldier's welcome was over, and also lost faith in the comforting institutions of family values, tradition, and religion. Because of his unique tie to Krebs, the story flows easily and comes to life for the reader. Hemingway's liberal use of vague passages is an unusual trait in his stories, for he is often noted for his specific writing. These passages were included to show the mindset of young Krebs. For instance, the author spends several paragraphs showing the reader Krebs' thoughts on girls; specifically why he does not want to bother with them even though he admires them. In paragraph 12, Krebs tells the reader that he does not want the consequences of a girl, and then goes off on a tangent about men and what girls mean to them. This passage is vague, and does not seem to contribute to the plot. However, it serves to show the wandering mindset of the narrator. The author wants the reader to be inside the head of the narrator, to understand the world through his eyes and his eyes only. This passage is a way of letting the reader in on Krebs' sense of drifting. Krebs' mental drifting is a symbol of the physical drift between himself and the rest of the world, particularly his hometown and family. When Krebs leaves for the war, he is an accepted part of his community. This is evident from the first few paragraphs, which serve the sole purpose of illustrating this to the reader. He is in a picture with his friends, all wearing the same hairstyle and collar. From the moment he steps off the train, he feels out-of-place. He does not return with the other soldiers, but rather much later. He does not settle into the community as the rest of the men his age do, but rather spends his time playing pool, sleeping late, and practicing the clarinet. This layering effect is a style that makes the story easy to read, but gets the author's themes across in a creative and literary way.The diction of a piece provides clues to the author's general style, and forms the foundation on which the story (and the style in which it is presented) is built. Careful word choice and placement is a trademark of a...

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