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Many of the titles of Ernest Hemingways stories are ironic and can be read on a number of levels Soldiers Home is no exception Our first impression having read the title only is that this story will be about a old soldier living out the remainder of his life in an institution where veterans go to die We soon find out that the story has nothing to do with the elderly or institutions rather it tells the story of a young man Harold Krebs only recently returned from World War I who has moved back into his parents house while he figures out what he wants to do with the rest of his life And yet our first impression lingers and with good reason despite the fact that his parents comfortable middle-class lifestyle used to feel like home to Harold Krebs it no longer does Harold is not home he has no home at all This is actually not an uncommon scenario among young people such as college students returning into the womb of their childhood again But with Harold the situation is more dramatic because he has not only lived on his own but has dealt with -- and been traumatized by -- life-and-death situations his parents could not possibly understand Hemingway does not divulge why Krebs was the last person in his home town to return home from the war according to the Kansas City Star Hemingway himself left Kansas City in the spring of 1918 and did not return for 10 years becoming the first of 132 former Star employees to be wounded in World War I according to a Star article at the time of his death Kansas City Star hem6htm Wherever he was in the intervening time by the time Harold gets home the novelty of the returning soldier has long since worn off All the other former soldiers have found a niche for themselves in the community but Harold
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