How are moral and psychological maturation shown in "Soldier's Home"?

In "Soldier's Home" by Ernest Hemingway, Harold Krebs returns late to his hometown after World War I. He shows moral and psychological maturation when he stops telling lies to gain attention, when he apologizes to his mother and lets her pray for him, and when he makes a decision to leave town and find a job elsewhere. This story also shows Hemingway's maturation as an example of the "iceberg theory" of literature that he was developing when he wrote it.

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In the short story "Soldier's Home" by Ernest Hemingway, a young soldier named Harold Krebs returns home to a small town in Oklahoma late, long after World War I is over. He has missed the celebrations in praise of the returning troops, and now the townspeople just want to forget about the war and get on with their lives. He encounters a situation that many soldiers who return from war experience: that people who have not lived through war have no comprehension of what it is like.

At first, Krebs tries to draw attention to his war stories by lying about what he had done. The townspeople had heard too many other stories by earlier returnees and are no longer interested in the facts. Although Krebs's exaggerations are understandable, this is an immature way to deal with the townspeople's indifference. His first indication of maturation is when the lies make him sick and he stops telling them. He is being more honest and sincere when he meets other veterans and admits that he was frightened the whole time he was at war.

Krebs sleeps late, reads books, and watches girls from the porch. During this time, he is convalescing and looking for direction in his life. That he doesn't know what he wants to do is natural at this stage; he is recovering from the intense trauma of the war. It is immature of him to lash out at his mother, saying he doesn't love her and doesn't believe in God. Even if he believes these things, it is selfish of him to hurt his mother by being so blunt with her. He shows maturity by apologizing and letting his mother pray for him. It is a further sign of his maturation when he decides to leave his home town and go to Kansas City to find a job.

This story also shows Hemingway's maturation as a writer. It is one of his early stories, and in it he demonstrates his "iceberg theory" of literature. This involved telling the bare facts while the underlying themes and emotions remained just below the surface. "Soldier's Home" appeared in Hemingway's collection In Our Time in 1925. He would go on to further perfect his unique style and eventually be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954.

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