Reader-Response on Soldier's Home
The initial reaction I received from reading Soldier's Home, and my feelings about Soldier's Home now are not the same. Initially, I thought Harold Krebs is this soldier who fought for two years, returns home, and is disconnected from society because he is in a childlike state of mind, while everyone else has grown up. I felt that Krebs lost his immature years, late teens to early 20's, because he went from college to the military. I still see him as disconnected from society, because there isn't anyone or anything that can connect him to the simple life that his once before close friends and family are living. He has been through a traumatic experience for the past two years, and he does not have anyone genuinely interested in him enough to take the time to find out what's going on in his mind and heart. Krebs is in a battle after the battle.
Imagine your hometown, a small, affluent community where everyone knows each other. This small community is where many of your childhood friends and some of your family also reside. If you left your hometown for a two-year period to go into the military, to go to college, to travel the world, or just to experience life somewhere else, how would you expect your friends and family to treat you when you arrived home after a two-year period? Would you expect a warm welcome from your love ones, would you expect to be able to share your experiences, or major events that took place in your life? Would you expect that everyone has changed at least a little bit, and you have changed somewhat as well? I definitely would not expect or would not want my friends and family to reject me, because I had changed due to my life experiences outside our small community. Now, imagine, during this two years away from your hometown you learned a second language, a new culture, different beliefs and values. What if the town where you spent two years, was poor and that you learned to take part in the daily operations of life in order for everyone in the family to be able to survive, eat, learn, and live healthy. Now two years later, you return back to your hometown where things come easy, people waste, and people are not as appreciative of the same things that you are. You dress differently, you eat different foods, and you have a different outlook on life as a whole. How would you feel if all your childhood friends and close family treated you like you were eccentric? One reader felt that "Krebs seems to have changed a lot and doesn't really seem to care about too much". ("Reader", response 14). Krebs is not quite able to function in society as his friends and family expect. Is this his fault, the fault of society, or is it a fault at all?
Several different readers pointed out that Krebs is having difficulty because he no longer shares a common interest with the people in his hometown. Response 12 in "Reader Responses to Soldier's Home" suggest that Krebs is...