I need help starting my paper over the short story "Soldiers Home" by Ernest Hemmingway.I need help starting my paper over the short story "Soldiers Home" by Ernest Hemmingway. 

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Bob Seger and his Silverbullet Band of the 1960s had a song with the line "I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."  There is absolutely no way to erase horrific experiences.  Try as hard as they may to restore order to their lives and maintain a simple existence, the soldiers who return from war are irreversibly altered.

Beginning with a comparison of Krebbs with others who have shared the experience of war, or beginning with a thematic quotation should start the thought processes for the essay

ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In doing an essay about "The Soldier's Home" it might be easy to begin with the concept of returning home.  You can't go home again, or can you go home again?  In this story Krebs returns to his small hometown in Oklahoma a damaged and changed young man.  His hometown hasn't changed a bit, except the women cut their hair and dress in a more modern style.  Krebs was a normal guy before he left.  He was in college and a member of a fraternity.  Now that he is home he can't talk about the war because no one wants to "hear the truth," and he feels physically ill from all the lies he has told to the town people. They have already welcomed home the other "boys" and Krebs is the last one home.  He finally decides he must leave and go to Kansas where he can work and live his life without complications.  He has decided he can't really go home again, because his home does not fit who he is anymore.

jaymac's profile pic

jaymac | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

I hope this helps. I think in my anecdote you might find a good "lede." I joined the Marines in 1966, went to Nam in '67 and came home in '69. The first few days home I was numb; the world had changed so much it was like some cruel joke had been played on me; all the dreams, all the visions of what "home" would be like, had no place in the America that unfolded around me. We knew the world had changed, but what we didn't know, was how much we had changed. I was hurt, angry and betrayed. My classmates from H.S. were juniors in college or had good jobs and I was stuck in 1966. I had become an outsider in my own neighborhood and family. The hugs and pats on the back we imagined were empty and I was on my own; driving around my first month home with a bottle of wine in my lap; melting slowly; reluctantly but out of necessity, into the very (young) people that months earlier I despised.

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