A Soldier’s Home or is it?

There are so many interesting things I found reading this story (about 4 times I might add lol) and a few things I wasn’t exactly able to comprehend after one read, I find that Krebs (Harold) is an extremely interesting character even though he doesn’t say too much. It is ironic that the author titled the story “A Soldier’s Home” when it seems like Harold doesn’t really want to be “home” and would rather be somewhere else; It really seems like he is having a very hard time adjusting to being back in the real world from war and a lot of things have changed e.g. the women. I found myself questioning whether he really wanted to come back home from the war; or if he became accustomed to the adrenaline pumping lifestyle that came with being  at war so much that being back “home” wasn’t satisfying for him. It’s also obvious that Harold lies a lot but mostly to himself, I feel he lies to himself to make himself feel more accomplished than he really is and also in order to make the people around him have a specific image of him. I don’t think Krebs was very satisfied with his life before going off to war and going to war made him feel more self-fulfilled. In response to the “Blindness vs. Awareness” debate I think in this story the mother is blind while Harold is aware especially in regards to Harold himself along with his future. There are many instances where Harold’s mother isn’t aware of his feelings or behaviors, she believes the stories he tells about being at war even though they are lies and therefore she has a distorted image of him; whereas Harold is clearly aware of all the lies he’s been telling and also aware that his life isn’t as smooth as it may seem, it often seems he doesn’t even want to be at “home” and would rather be somewhere far away.

3 thoughts on “A Soldier’s Home or is it?

  1. I agree, though I had to read the story a couple times to full understand it. I agree with you when you say he does not want to be home. I feel like he would rather be back at his base or dead. He did not have much to come back to since he did not have the mental state to look forward to anything. The only thing he did look forward too was his sister.
    However, when you said that you believe that he lies to himself, I disagree. I feel like when he lies he is trying to impress other people to make himself not seem so much of an outcast. He has a full understanding that people do not really care about his story since he has arrived so much later, and when he tells his story twice (I am pretty sure) he had to lie to make his story more impressive so he is not an everyday solider. Its there after he states that he does not like telling his story, only to his mother who mentally drifts off during the stories.
    And with the response to Blindness vs Awareness, I agree to the fact that his mother is blind because, as you said, she is not aware of his feelings or behaviours, though she does not even listen to the full story. However, I believe that Harold is somewhat blind as well because he does not accept reality as it is. The only thing he is really aware of is his lies and the fact he hurt his mother and would lie to fix it. Though i found that his humanity was going since he told his own mother he did not love her, and he did not find a problem with falling in love with his sister. I find since he is blind, and a compulsive liar, he does not know what to say since it is not coming from his heart.
    I find that even though he is “home” he is not mentally, and with you saying somewhere far away, again i picture it to be in his base or dead since his reality it gone and everything he had previously lived for disappeared. He does not even have a want to drive the car he was never aloud, meet new woman and get a job to start a family. He is not even a real person anymore…..

  2. I never really thought about the angle that Krebs’ “didn’t want to come home”. It is true that the events of the war are never really mentioned in the story. I don’t think we can exactly know how harold felt about the events of the war. It was my interruption that he wanted to return to the “pre-war” America rather than the war itself.

    But hey I could be wrong 🙂

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