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You Can Never Go Home Again Here in Soldiers Home all the should-have-beens turn into could-have-beens for Harold Krebs Krebs is the main character in Ernest Hemingways commentary on the old adage you can never go home again We find in Krebs the irony of the experience of war from a personal perception and the personal reality of it Krebs is a returning World War I veteran trying to fit back into the normal routine of small-town life World War Is reality weighs heavy upon him as his townsfolk expect more from him than he can give and he realizes their perceptions are wrong Weighing Krebs down even more is the reality that he cannot live up to his own experiences and perceptions Being personally unfamiliar with Hemingways works that is not having read any of his novels completely but being very familiar with Hemingways persona one finds this short story displaying his masterful use of irony in his characteristically machismo vein Here is I feel the kernel of Hemingways story The contrast between perceived manly attitudes toward war and its effects versus the reality of war sapping the very life from its participants In our day we call what Krebs was going through psychologically post-traumatic stress syndrome In Krebs day through the pen of Hemingway we find him conveying his feelings of frustration and shame upon returning home to a town and to parents who still had a romantic notion of war and who didnt understand the psychological impact the war had had on him They would never be able to comprehend what war was all about The character of Krebs obviously represents Hemingway Hemingway had been in World War I and the Spanish Civil War Vicariously through Krebs he expresses the fact that returning veterans were often faced with ambiguity falsehood and propaganda surrounding their experience Brian Pruett Page 2 Hemingways theme is concisely the lies of
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