In the story, Soldier's Home, are there any other characters? What kind of people are they? What roles do they play in the story?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Harold Krebs is certainly the central character of Ernest Hemingway's "Soldier's Home." The only other characters who appear are his family members: his mother, father and two sisters, one of whom is named Helen. They all serve to remind Krebs of his past life in Oklahoma, and how little they have changed since he has left. Harold decides that he must leave town--and his family--in order to truly start his life anew.

  • The Mother.  Harold's mother still treats him as a little boy, allowing him to sleep late and waste the days away. A very religious woman, she is crushed when Harold tells her he no longer loves her--that he cannot feel love. But he apologizes and lies to her, claiming that he loves his "mummy." To her, Harold will always be her little boy.
  • The Father.  Harold has little contact with his father, who is "non-committal" when it comes to his war stories. Harold's father is ready for his son to settle down and he is even willing to accept that he is now an adult when he offers (through the mother) to allow Harold to borrow the family's precious automobile.
  • Helen, the Sister.  Helen is Harold's "favorite" sister, and she considers him a hero and her "beau." She begs him to come watch her play ball, but Harold has little interest.
  • The Other Sister.  She is mentioned but never named.

The other girls in the town attract Harold's interest, and he likes their looks much more than the European girls. But the local girls are too much trouble, unlike the German and French girls who were always ready to have a good time with no complications.


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