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SOLDIERS HOME ANOTHER STORY OF A BROKEN HEART He knew he could never get through it all again I dont want to go through that hell again In the works of Ernest Hemingway that which is excluded is often as significant as that which is included a hint is often as important and thought-provoking as an explicit statement This is why we read and reread him Soldiers Homeis a prime example of this art of echo and indirection Harold Krebs the protagonist of Soldiers Home is a young veteran portrayed as suffering from an inability to readjust to society--Paul Smith has summarized previous critics on the subject of how Krebs suffers from returning to the familial social and religioushome71 Moreover as Robert Paul Lamb notes the story is also about a conflicted mother-son relationship29 Krebs small-town mother cannot comprehend her sons struggles and sufferings caused by the war She devotes herself to her religion and never questions her own values she manipulates her son She is one of the Hemingway bitch mothers who also appear in The Doctor and the Doctors Wifeand Now I Lay Me Her sermons to her son lack any power to heal his spiritual wounds She has determined that Krebs should live in Gods Kingdom find a job and get married like a normal local boy Although Hemingway locates the story in Oklahoma and excludes it from the Nick Adams group the husband and wife relationship observed inSoldiers Homeis also similar to those in The Doctor and the Doctors Wife and Now I Lay Me revealing the mothers dominance of a troubled marriage Krebs noncommittal father is obviously dominated by his wife she makes the decisions Her advocacy of marriage for Krebs is ironic not yet recovered from his various psychic wounds and trapped by the sick marriage of his parents marriage is the very commitment he must avoid Furthermore a careful reading of Soldiers Home
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